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My Diary/Blog For the Month of October 2018

Wednesday 31st October 2018
08:08 GMT

  The only way to describe yesterday's weather is to say it was cold and gloomy ! The highest temperature was 9° C, but with a blustery wind it felt cooler than that....very much cooler when walking up the high street ! I can't seem to recall a single ray of sunshine escaping through the dense clouds - although maybe it came close. As the sun set some of the clouds to the west were brilliantly lit from above, or the side, or below, and some patches of almost violet sky could be seen.
a very slightly less cold day with sunny
  This last day of October has started so cold that I am surprised there is no frost on the cars parked outside in the road. Maybe there was earlier, but the sun has melted it already. The forecast says there will be sunny intervals all through the daylight hours, and it is certainly sunny as I write this. I can actually see a lot of blue in the sky, although it is streaked with thin white clouds. The afternoon temperature should be a good improvement on yesterday. It is predicted to be mostly 12° C with maybe a brief excursion to 13° C. The troubles start after sunset when rain is expected. It shouldn't be too heavy, and at least the thick clouds may keep the overnight temperature up to 10° C. At midnight, as the date changes from October to November, the rain is forecast to get heavier, and heavy is then forecast for much of tomorrow. Tomorrow's temperature is forecast to be a constant 11° C from before sunrise until 4pm when the rain should be stopping, and the temperature starting to fall down to 6° C.

  I seemed to be very busy yesterday morning. Before I could shower I had to finish some laundry I had left soaking. As usual the physical exercise in doing that laundry by hand managed to de-stress my body, got the blood flowing, and cured many, if not most of the aches and pains I had on waking up. Once that laundry was hanging up to dry I could take a shower. I was already warm from doing the laundry, and a hot shower left me feeling a bit overheated to get dressed straight away.

  After I had cooled down enough I got dressed and went to the shops. Once again I felt slightly apprehensive about the walk, but I felt perfectly OK. It seemed like the negative effects of my brush with 'flu had truly gone away.  I bought an assortment of photo frames - 2 from the 99p shop, and 2 costing almost twice the price from Poundstretcher. I then rushed home to put Angela's photo in 2 of them. One was a slightly frame, probably US "Letter size" rather than A4, and so I had to print off another copy of her photo.

  That took me almost up to the time to walk to the pub to meet Angela. I did have an earlier plan that I would take a bus into Ladywell, and have a quick look in Cash Converters to see if they had any interesting photographic stuff, but there didn't seem time for that. I walked through the park, and then through the hospital, via the cash machine, and the place just inside the hospital where The Metro, free newspaper stand is.
tree in autumn colours
It's a shame there was no sunshine to light up this tree in it's pretty autumn colours, but it was very grey yesterday.
leaves on the riverbank
The river was looking very picturesque yesterday with fallen leaves on the banks, and on the shingle exposed by the low water level. I expect they'll all be washed off after tomorrows heavy rain.

  I felt strangely tired when I arrived at the pub. I felt like I wanted to lie down, and maybe even have a snooze, but a few mouthfuls of Guinness seemed to revive me. It was probably little more than 5 minutes later when Angela arrived. One of her opening remarks was to say how nice it was to be back in the pub with me.
Angela in a thick
                            warm sweater
  It was wonderful to see her so relaxed and happy - and she became happier still. She liked the birthday card I had chosen for her. On the front was a bottle of wine, a glass, and some other bits and pieces, and inside was the message that like a fine wine she just improved with age. I then gave her my present. In one respect it was taking the mickey. Knowing her love of vodka I bought her a gift set of three miniatures of Smirnoff with three shot glasses. Two of the vodkas were flavoured, and I don't think they will mix with diet coke well, but I am sure Angela will still enjoy them somehow.

  Angela's joy increased still further when I gave her the framed photos of her in her Halloween outfit. She thought they were lovely - particularly the one in the gold frame. A picture she sent me in the evening showed how well it went with her wallpaper. It was a great shame that there was also a moment of sadness involved with those pictures. Angela was worried how she would tell lover boy how she got them. I suggested she just say that she used the machine in Boots to print them, and bought the frames from the 99p shop. I am not sure that the photo printer in Boots does anything bigger than 6 x 4 prints, but it may do bigger.

  While was were discussing this the truth came out about the last pictures I gave to Angela some 6 or 7 week ago. Originally she was very keen to hang one of the pictures of her daughter Miranda singing straight on the wall, but she kept them hidden until she could give them to Miranda to take away. The picture that would have been the very hardest to explain, taken outside the hospital on the way back from the pub after one of our very regular lunchtime meets, she didn't even dare take home, and keeps it at work. I have no idea what she did with the picture that I hated to print of lover boy.

  All too soon it was time for Angela to get back to work. I walked her there, and she was in such a boyant mood that she gave me a big hug before she went into work. For a moment it felt like the isolation since last April had never happened, and almost like we were back where we were in 2016 when we were lovers. There is still some sort of magic between us, but she prefers a miserable old git rather than a grumpy old git. Maybe it's because he can drive, and has a car. I can't see what else she sees in him.

  I was naturally feeling very boyant after seeing Angela, and I walked home the long way round via Cash Busters to see what photographic equipment they might have in their window. They still have a nice Nikon camera, and the price on it seems to be dropping, but it is the same model as I already have, and having tried both, I seem to prefer Canon camera now. So I came home with my wallet intact.

  When I got home I had some precooked "Italian style" chicken chipolata sausages ready for me to eat. They just needed 5 minutes in the oven to warm them up. I couldn't make up my mind as to whether they were good or not so good. They certainly weren't bad, but I don't think I found them particularly exciting. Having tried them once, I doubt I'll be buying any more. I don't think those sausages can be blamed for what happened next. I suddenly felt very tired again. It was something a bit more than tired, but I am not sure what.

  I decided to lay on my bed and read for a while, but 5 or 10 minutes later I fell asleep. I don't think I was asleep for very long - I'd be surprised if it was for more than 20 minutes. When I woke up I resumed reading, but after a while I began to feel really cold. I ended up putting the heating on full. With hindsight I think I may have had a bit of fever because suddenly I was too hot and sweating. I don't know if this was caused by the 'flu virus still being in my body, or something else entirely. I have grave suspicions that it was something else. I decided I should probably try and get an appointment to see one of the doctors, and I was going to call the group practice this morning, but I notice that I have already left it too late, and missed the appointment making window. Maybe I'll try in the half an hour window in the afternoon.

  I continued to feel a bit off for the rest of the day, but a long phone call from my friend Lee, plus several very large whiskies seemed to distract me from any negative feelings. That wasn't the case when I went to bed at about midnight. I didn't feel all that good, but some of it must have been tiredness because I seem to fall into a deep sleep very quickly. The next think I knew was that it was a little after 4am. I got up for a wee, and then I tried to get back to sleep, but it was difficult to get comfortable. If I tried to lay on my right side my rib cage felt uncomfortable. In fact at one point there was a distinct crunch from my sternum. If I lay on my left side I felt quite strange - almost momentarily dizzy.

  It seemed like I would never get to sleep, and then suddenly over an hour passed between two blinks of my eye. It was almost 6am, and so I got up to visit the toilet, and to take my morning medication. Once again I tried to go back to sleep, but no matter how I tried I couldn't get to sleep. Since then I have felt better and better - relative to feeling crap ! Sometimes I start yawning and thinking about bed again, and sometimes my ribcage starts to grumble, and I have to make sure of my posture.

  I have no plans for today except a feeling that I might do a bit more garden clearance. Since first going down with what I assume was 'flu, some 3 weeks ago now, I haven't done anything in the garden. I have a feeling that a bit of hard work may make me feel better. It's just a matter of raising the enthusiasm for doing it. The same could be said of washing my hair and having a shower. As I sit here typing it feels like shampooing and showering would be too much like hard work...that makes me think.....It is certainly the case that washing me often causes more chest discomfort than washing clothes and stuff. The big difference is that when I do laundry my hands are mostly kept low, but when washing myself a lot of the work is with my hands at chest height or above (very much above when also washing my hair). There has to be a clue in there somewhere, but not being an anatomist I am not sure what it is.
Tuesday 30th October 2018
07:56 GMT

  Yesterday morning started out with blue skies and sunshine. Gradually more and more cloud appeared in the sky, and later in the morning the sunshine gave way to sunny intervals. As sunset approached the sunny intervals had got so short that they had all but disappeared. Even with the sunshine it was a rather cool day with the temperature only reaching about 9° C at best.
A very grey day
  Today has started at about the 6° C that was forecast, and it will only reach 9° C this afternoon. That is the same maximum as yesterday, but I think it is going to feel much colder because not a single ray of sunshine is forecast for today. It is very overcast now, and it is forecast to be very, very overcast later on. There is even a 21% chance of rain forecast for 10am this morning. Even if it doesn't rain it is going to be a thoroughly disgusting day. Tomorrow may be a nicer day, but nastier evening. There should be sunny intervals for most of the daylight hours, and the temperature should be 12° C with a brief excursion to 13° C for an hour in the afternoon. After sunset it will probably rain.

  Yesterday turned out to be completely different to how I imagined it would. In the morning I went out to buy a bit of shopping, and a birthday card. I was a bit apprehensive that the walk would trigger some rib cage, or even chest pains, but I was perfectly comfortable - so comfortable that I chose the long way home. After that I was very confident that the longer walk to hopefully meet Angela would be no trouble at all.

  Just after midday I sent a text message to Angela asking if she could spare me 5 minutes outside work at the start of her lunch hour. It took some time before she replied. Initially I wondered if she was ignoring my message, but a bit later a reply came through, and she said no because she wasn't at work yesterday. I replied to that by saying that was a shame because I would have to wish her happy birthday by text message. I also asked if she could let me know when she was back at work because I had a gift for her.

  I'm guessing that the meeting in the park I had with Angela a month or so ago stirred something within her because I didn't get a text reply to my message. I got a voice call instead !  It was lovely to hear her voice, and she sounded so happy to speak to me. She told me that she would be back at work today, and we could meet then. Rather than just 5 minutes outside work she suggested that we should meet in the pub like we used to.

 I don't think this indicates any great change in our relationship. She is, I'm sure, still hooked on lover boy, but maybe it might be another indicator of how he is not right for her. Now her daughter is putting all her energy into being a university student, and has suspended singing for the while, they see a lot less of each other, and I think her daughter was her best confidant who she could discuss life with. Ideally she should be able to do that with lover boy, but it's my prediction that today she will tell me all sorts of things to get them off her mind.

 In the past I have been privy to many of Angela's inner thoughts. Most, if not all, were related to the moment, and not worth remembering, but an occasional one would be of greater significance - like a very common, but still embarrassing medical problem in all it's gory details ! I wonder what might be revealed today.
Angela in
                        halloween outfit
  I'm not sure how long our phone went on for, but it may have been as much as 15 minutes. At the end I felt very happy, but impatient for today. I think it may have been something like an hour later that I was sent the picture on the left via WhatsApp. It is the costume that Angela will wear to a special Halloween themed open mic tomorrow night. She wondered if I could print it out for her.

  I was slightly dubious because the resolution of pictures is reduced when sent over WhatsApp, but I said I would transfer it from my phone to my PC, and see how it looked. I then spent quite a few hours playing about with it, and printing out several copies using slightly different setting. It was the printing that took up so much time - my HP printer is far, far faster than the old printer I used to use 20 years ago, but it is still slow compared to, say, a colour laser printer.

 Probably all the prints I made were usable in one way or another, but once I had printed out the perfect one I stopped, and didn't attempt any more. One of my first jobs this morning will be to go out to the shops and buy a few spare photo frames for these pictures.

 I put my feet up for a while after doing that photo printing, but then for some reason I decided to investigate some loose photos I had in a dusty box. In some ways they were rejects from real photo albums - actual prints from film that were in a photo album book. There were some that were mostly OK, but not straight, or not centred - the sorts of things that can be easily corrected when in digital form. I have set aside a small pile to be scanned, and edited at a later date.

  Another job for a rainy day is to see if I can do anything with some of the first pictures I ever took. I was about 10 years old at the time, and I didn't have a clue as to how to use a camera. They were taken on a school journey to Belgium and Holland in the last year of primary school. I have no idea of the date, but it was around Easter time, and that year Easter was late, and so was the last fall of snow. We actually set off in snow ! The camera I was given to use was a Brownie 44A. It was a was a modernised version of the venerable box brownie camera. The view finder was little more than a hole through the camera, and it had two settings - bright and brighter ! Most of the photos came out under exposed, badly framed, and sometimes with motion blur. I think I can improve them to some extent, but what can't be improved is the blandness of the shot - for instance a picture of a duck that could have been taken anywhere at any time.

  My original idea was to try and eat as little as I could manage yesterday. That almost came to naught when I ended up having two "big" meals. While killing a bit of time before sending my text to Angela I cleaned up the kitchen, and decided to prepare, and part cook what should have been my dinner. It was, as I predicted yesterday, broccoli and bacon - except the bacon was actually Tesco lardons. My gut feeling that the Tesco lardons were not as good as the lardons that Aldi sell turned out to be right.

  With initially nothing much to do in the afternoon I decided to eat what should have been my dinner for lunch. I found that Tesco lardons with broccoli didn't work. It was as if the two strong flavours subtracted from each other instead of complimenting each other. It wasn't bland, but it very much failed to excite. So later on I cooked another meal for dinner. This one was quite a lot of ham - slightly over £1 worth from the Tesco reduced price shelf - with runner beans, mange tout and sugar snap peas all cooked in a small amount of beef stock. It was nice enough, but not exciting in any way.

  The result of getting a fair sleep the night before came to the fore last night. I thought I felt sleepy, but it was just fatigue from watching TV and doing stuff on my PC. I went to bed at 11pm expecting to fall asleep easily, but it was gone midnight before I fell asleep. Once I was asleep I seemed to sleep well. I think I can only remember waking once at about 5am this morning. After a wee I went back to bed, and it seemed I would not fall asleep until suddenly I was asleep. I slept for maybe another 90 minutes before deciding to get up.

  It seems life goes on as normal - I felt lousy when I first got out of bed. My neck felt stiff, and the top of my chest, almost directly under my chin, ached and sort of felt heavy. Since then things have settled down, and I think I feel moderately OK now. That is just as well because I have a busy morning. Before I do anything else I have to finish some laundry I started, but abandoned yesterday. Once that is done I'll be able to have a shower. The first thing I need to do after that is to go out and get some shopping. There are two things on my shopping list - Diet Coke and photo frames. I can probably get both from the 99p shop, although the Diet Coke will be on the very limit of it's best before date (it has football, presumably world cup, themed labels - to someone more knowledgeable about football, that should give a clue as to how old it is). Maybe I'll get the Coke from Tesco !

  Once I am home again I can see if the photos I printed fit the frames, or if not I shall re-print one to fit the best frame I can find. With that done I can relax until it's time to walk to the pub to meet Angela. After that meeting, and with a couple of pints of Guinness inside me, I intend to relax for the rest of the day, but probably won't - there are those old photos to be scanned, and edited.
frost or just dew
  I almost forgot this picture I took through the less than pristine clean back bedroom windows yesterday morning. I think it was just early morning dew, but it did look a lot like frost on next door's shed roof !
Monday 29th October 2018
08:12 GMT

  The morning rain didn't seem to last that long, and after that there were a few unscheduled sunny intervals. Probably the worst thing about yesterday was that it was cold. The forecast high was just 9° C, but I'm not convinced it even got that high. It didn't feel quite like winter, but it came close to it.
another cold, but brighter day than
  It would be nice if today continued how it has started. At the moment the sun is shining, and actually feeling warm through glass, and the sky is completely blue (or at least the part of the sky I can see most easily with getting out of my chair is all blue). Of course the catch is that it is currently very cold. At the moment one of my thermometers is saying it is just 2.5° C outside my back door. We must have come very close to a frost this morning. Even with the sunshine right now, and the sunny intervals forecast for the rest of the day, the highest temperature is expected to be just 9° C. Tomorrow could see thick cloud all day. It will make the morning and evening a little less cold, but once again the expected high will be just 9° C.

  I started yesterday feeling quite rough, but very slowly I began to feel better and better, although far from best. Had I not been waiting for a parcel delivery I would have wandered along to the hospital to complain of chest pains, but that parcel delivery did not arrive until gone 2pm, and by that time I was feeling considerably better. In fact it seemed the more I ignored how I felt, and actually tried to do something productive, the better I felt. I still felt a strong reluctance to go out to try and buy a birthday card after the parcel delivery, but by 6pm I was feeling very close to normal with one exception - if I allowed myself to get cold I would develop a few extra aches and pains.

  There were many times when it would have been easy to fall asleep while waiting for that parcel delivery. That was not surprising after the really bad sleep the night before, but I felt I had to keep alert waiting for that knock on the door. When I couldn't stand reading stuff off my PC I decided to scan some old photos. I did that on my laptop downstairs in the living room. I was quite pleased at how well, and how bad, some of my old film photography came out. I could almost make two piles of those old snaps. One would be "completely useless" and the other would be "good or better". There seemed few that were borderline.
205001 at Uckfield
The framing and angle I took this snap from could have been a little better, but this picture of "thumper" 205001 at Uckfield station seemed to come out OK. I can't be sure of the exact date, but there was one picture from the same set of negatives that had strong hints that it could have been taken on, or near, 5th November 1996.
Eridge station
Eridge station featuring the island platform that was leased from British Rail for use by what would end up being called The Spa Valley Railway, and many, many years later would become their southern terminus. This picture would have been taken on the same days as the picture of Uckfield above. The trees do have a very November look about them.
Clacton On Sea
This picture was taken at Clacton On Sea, and probably dates to sometime in 1995 or 1996. This would have been the first time I ever visited Clacton On Sea. The second time was just a few weeks ago, and the station seems rather different now.
Clacton On Sea in Sept 2018
  To might great annoyance I don't seem to have a comparable photo from my visit to Clacton On Sea on Tuesday 18th September 2018. This one will have to do. The two buffer stops have been replaced with stronger, modern ones, and while I can't confirm it, they are probably placed a few extra metres down the line. The class 312 trains, as in the 1996 picture have long gone, but both trains seen on the far left and far right of the old picture would be class 321 trains just like in this modern picture.

  I deliberately avoided eating much yesterday. I had reason to believe that the cause of some of my discomfort the day before, and through the night, was a direct result of the extra hot chilli flavoured sausages I had eaten. Although there was no sign of the traditional "burning ring of fire", I could definitely detect them, or at least the effect of them passing through my lower colon. By 6pm, after what must have been my 6th productive visit to the toilet (with over half of those visits being in the morning) I did feel better for it - although it is hard to describe exactly why I felt better.

 I only had one proper meal yesterday, and it was a very simple meal of cabbage and smoky bacon cooked in a small amount of beef stock - much of it would actually have been steamed because there was so little stock in the microwave proof dish I cooked it in. It certainly wasn't cordon blue cooking, but it was very tasty, and both filling and not filling. It seemed like I was eating a lot, but having eaten it, I didn't feel like it had even half filled my stomach. Later in the evening I would have some Marmite and cheese on some rice cakes.

  I watched a fascinating programme on TV last night. It was a documentary about a journey on "The Ghan" - an exceedingly long train that travels 2000 km across Australia from coast to coast with just one stop in the middle of the journey. The thing that made it such a great programme is that it was done in a very low key style. There was no commentary apart from occasional announcements from the guard on board, and the sound was deliberately kept very low except for a very few parts where it was raised for dramatic results.

 The 54 hour journey was edited down to just 3 hours, but even then it became a bit boring to watch non stop. So I opted out for 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there, but I kept going back to it. As much as I like trains, I think it was the film productions values that were the best bit. The train itself looked very American, and thus rather ugly from the outside - particularly the two big diesel locomotives on the front, but the interior looked nice. The programme finished at 11pm, and I went straight to bed afterwards.

  Once in bed I tried to read for a bit, but I soon put the book down, and well before midnight I was fast asleep. It was either a measure of how tired I was after getting so little sleep the night before, or a measure of how much better I was feeling, but it seems I slept solidly for almost 5 hours. It has possibly been years since I have slept non stop for that length of time ! After a wee I went back to bed and got some more sleep, but it wasn't nearly as good at the first 5 hours.

  I initially felt very rough when I finally got up, but now I seem to feel fairly OK. Later on I will test myself with a walk to go and buy a birthday card. Even if that goes bad I will still be going out for a walk to Lewisham hospital where I hope I'll be able to meet up with Angela to give her the birthday card and a small present. If that slightly longer walk makes me feel bad then I may carry out my threat to pop into A&E to complain of chest pains.

 Assuming I don't need to report to the hospital I have no idea what I will do for the rest of the day, and into the evening. They only thing that I can think of is to try and resist eating until early this evening, and then have another simple dinner like yesterday evening. It might be broccoli with bacon today ! Broccoli has a very strange name. If I spell it will two "L"s my spell checker says it should be two "C"s, but I swear that if I spell it with two "C"s it says it should have two "L"s !
Sunday 28th October 2018
08:06 GMT

  Yesterday's bright start was probably just to fool everybody. It didn't last all that long, and the day turned grey until it brightened up again in the afternoon. The more significant thing, whether it was bright or dull, was that it was cold. The forecast said the maximum would be 8° C, and that was about what it was - except in the perpetual shade outside my kitchen door, on the north side of my house, where the highest temperature I think I saw might have been as low as 7° C.
cold and wet !
  The clocks have changed, and we are now running on GMT. Apparently this gives us an extra hour in bed, but I seem to be up earlier than usual ! Perhaps I was woken by the bright morning sunshine that I could see lighting up my bedroom window curtains, or maybe there is another reason I'll explain later. What I couldn't see through my still closed bedroom curtains was that it was raining outside even while the sun was shining. It now looks very grey outside, but maybe the rain has stopped. These sunny intervals and showers might continue until mid morning. After that it will probably be overcast until the last couple of hours of daylight, and they could see some sunny intervals. Today may be every so slightly less cold than yesterday. The expected high is 9° C. At the moment the thermometers out the back of my house say it is just 4.5° C. Tomorrow could  be a degree warmer less cool still - except in the morning when there might be a frost. On the plus side there could be sunny intervals all day.

  I seem to recall that I felt moderately OK yesterday morning. My main complaint was that my neck felt stiff and sore. That would slowly ease through the morning, and by late morning I had little to complain about - or so I thought. I think it was getting on for midday when I decided to go to Aldi to buy a few odds and ends. It wasn't until I had done my shopping, and was heading home that I suddenly thought that I should have gone the long way around, and bought the birthdays cards I wanted to get from the Card Shop in the Catford Precinct.

  I felt a bit stiff as I walked to Aldi, but I was OK once I was in the shop. It was on the way that things started to go bad. I blame the weather for it. It was surprisingly chilly out, and while I had worn a coat, my chest still got cold. By the time I arrived home my chest did not feel good. It was by no means a strong feeling, more like a mild itch, but it felt a bit different from my normal complaints. Not only that, but I felt slightly wheezy, and slightly strange. I think it was the first definite sign of the return of heart problems.
hot chilli sausages !
  Yesterday was probably not the best day to buy, and then eat these very spicy and hot sausages. I usually find flavoured sausages, with the exception of Lincolnshire sausages flavoured with sage, to be generally disappointing. These ones weren't ! They were very hot and spicy, and rather delicious, with no hint of "Mexican spices", or other nasty flavours, but they did give me terrible heartburn - I think. That wasn't good on top of feeling not that good after how I felt after walking back from Aldi.

  I spent quite a lot of yesterday afternoon eating antacid tablets, and painkillers. I came very close to taking a walk to the hospital to get myself checked out, but I decided that wasn't the best idea after stuffing myself with extra hot chilli sausages. By early evening I was feeling mostly OK, but I decided that I wouldn't eat any more.....until I decided that some rice cakes couldn't do any harm. They probably didn't, but the German salami slices I had on some of them, and the extra thick peanut butter spread on others, probably did.

  Yesterday evening, and on into the night, was one of those occasions when you don't actually feel uncomfortable, but still don't feel right. It was gone 11pm when I decided to just read in bed. Reading was such a wonderful distraction that I continued to read until what would be the equivalent of 3am, but because of the clocks changing to GMT, was actually 2am. After that I decided to try and get some sleep. I got some sleep, but it wasn't that much.

  It was sometime around 4am that I decided to add a few things to the ruck sack that I try to keep prepared in case I have to go into hospital. I still thought that I might need it, and I am not so sure that need is any less at the moment. It wasn't long after sunrise that I got up, and had a shower so that if I started to feel rough today I would be clean when presenting myself to the hospital. I feel there is a fair chance that will actually happen today, but first I have to wait in for a small parcel delivery.

  The parcel is just a couple of memory cards, and a couple of leads, and is the last two item left to arrive from a bigger order from Amazon. I am hoping they may come before the typical weekday delivery time from their Dartford depot. That would be between 3 and 4pm. I still hope to go to the card shop to buy a couple of birthday cards. I shall judge my chest's reaction to that 6 or 7 minute brisk walk, and if I come back feeling bad then I probably will make that visit to the A&E department. All I have to do is to remember to take a small present, and the card If I can get out early enough to buy one, for Angela whose birthday is tomorrow. She works in the hospital, and so it should be easy to get her to come and visit me there if I am kept in tomorrow.
Saturday 27th October 2018
09:19 BST

  As the forecast predicted, it was all wet and rainy yesterday morning, although I think the forecast exaggerated the amount of rain...or perhaps just the length of time it was predicted to fall. By 11m, and hour earlier than predicted, the cloud was breaking up, and the sun was trying to shine. By midday it was quite sunny. It seemed to me that the afternoon sunny intervals lasted so long that there were periods that could have just been described as sunny. Ignoring the couple of hours of rain in the morning, the only reason that yesterday could not be described as a nice day was that the temperature only rose to about 11° C, and seemed to fall quite fast in the early evening. Having said that, once again it felt very warm behind glass - i.e. in my bedroom with the sun streaming in the the windows.
morning sunshine
  I'm not sure what to make of today's forecast. The morning temperature is about right, but the sun seems to be shining more than just a sunny interval. There is some light cloud at the moment, but I can see many islands of blue among it. Maybe the cloud will thicken later, and we will gradually lose the sunshine. The most significant thing about today is how cold it is going to be - just 8° C in the afternoon, and falling to 6° C during the evening. It could be time to miss out my light coat, and go straight to the padded coat ! Tomorrow may start at 6° C, and that will be a small improvement over this morning, and with a high of 9° C it will be a tiny bit less cold than today. Unfortunately there is a quite small chance of rain in the morning, and it is not until the afternoon that there may be some sunny intervals.

  I spent much of yesterday as if I was over the 'flu, or other disease that has caused me so much grief. That's not to say I was free from all discomfort. I certainly wasn't in the morning ! Quite a few bits ached in the morning, and as a novelty, that included down in the belly area. It was probably an inflamed, and gangrenous organ, but it felt like I had pulled a muscle (maybe two). It is possible that I did pull a muscle when thrashing about in bed at the same time as having a deep and convulsive cough !

  I shunned taking any painkillers, and did my best to carry on as normal. It seemed to work well, although it may have destroyed a few brain cells. This morning I can't remember which of two things I did first. One of those things was to go to Tesco for some shopping. The more I think of it, the more I am sure I did that first, and that I did it soon after 11am when the sun had just started to break through, and it seemed like it would stay dry while I was out - it did !
Marmite !
  I bought lots of wholesome stuff in Tesco. I bought broccoli, cabbage, green beans and brussels sprouts. I also bought more Marmite ! I was looking out for a rumoured special Halloween edition of Marmite, but I later discovered that it might only be available online. What I did find was reduced salt Marmite - it's the jar with the blue cap in this poor quality picture I took using flash. This is my current collection of Marmite jars. Five of them still contain Marmite despite being quite a few years old now. I'm not sure Marmite can go off ! The I Love You Marmite is made from Champagne yeast, and is revolting. It's probable it will never be eaten. The Marmite cheese spread jar was specially brought in from South Africa for me by one of my old workmates. It was nice enough to have only lasted about a week once I got it home.

  I did buy two other spreads to put on rice cakes. One was very naughty. It was Nutella. It is probably crammed with sugar and all sorts of other naughties. It's a shame that on re-tasting it again after many, many years, it was actually quite disappointing. A semi naughty spread was some crunchy peanut butter. If I could just spread it a bit thinner it would not be so bad, but for my breakfast this morning I had three rice cakes with a thick layer of peanut butter on top of a generous amount of Marmite ! Those three rice cakes were delicious, and I am ever so tempted to have another one, or two, or three.....

  As far as I recall, walking to and from Tesco was about normal - no wheezing or odd bits of my rib cage complaining - but I was aware that what was probably a pulled muscle or two in my belly area was a bit tender. It made me stop and be very careful as I put my key in the door to get in. On Thursday night I managed to cause all sorts of agonies by bending down and twisting my body too rapidly as I tried to get the key in the door.

  Yesterday I had no problems when I came in. I had a quick couple of rice cakes when I got home so that I could test the peanut butter and Nutella on them. After that I decided to wash a few t-shirts and underwear. It was quite painful when I first started that, but as usual it seemed to cure the pains instead of making them worse. With that done, and the t-shirts and underwear hung up to dry, I could relax....but I didn't.

  My next task was to clean up the kitchen a  bit. Mostly it was clearing a backlog of washing up, but I also had to deal with the indoor food waste bin. It hadn't bee emptied for some time, and it really stunk. I nearly lost my breakfast just emptying it into the bigger outdoor waste food bin. As I write this it is still outside the back door filled with water and a lot of bleach. I guess one of the things I do today will be to finish cleaning it up, and bringing it back indoors.

  Once the kitchen was done I did my best not to make a mess doing some cooking. It was till mid afternoon so it was only preparatory work. I prepared and part cooked some runner beans. Later on I would finish cooking them with some Scottish mackerel - cooked with plenty of vinegar so they didn't stink the house out. When it was all finally cooked it seemed so small, and so while eating it I cooked some "boil in the bag" cod fillets in parsley sauce. They were supposed to be frozen, but I didn't have room in the freezer for them, and so using them up as soon as possible was a good idea.

  For the rest of the afternoon, and through the evening, I just rested...or something close to it. Provided I didn't probe too deeply I seemed to be over my 'flu. Occasionally I would need to clear my throat, but nothing seemed to hurt out of the ordinary, and all my joints seemed free. I wasn't prone to sudden bouts of sweating, and....well, I sort of felt "well". Of course it was mostly illusion....or was it ?

  One peculiar thing last night was that I felt compelled to get to bed even though I didn't seem to feel very tired. It was actually just before midnight when I got into bed, and it was probably over an hour later before I fell asleep. It is possible it was just one long dream, but it seemed like I kept waking up, and was unable to get comfortable before falling asleep again. It was the usual things - the mattress and pillow had grown new lumps, and it was both too warm and too cold. The weird thing is that I remember these things as if they were part of a dream. Perhaps I was awake less in reality than I thought !

  This morning my neck feels stiff and sore, but otherwise I feel OK-ish. I'm not sure if I feel up to running a marathon, but once I am washed and dressed I definitely need to go out and buy a birthday card for someone. I may well go to Aldi as well. There is little in the way of food that I would want to buy, but I would like to replace the 4 cans of Lager I drank last night. They were primarily emergency stock with Sue in mind. The chances of Sue coming here, or even me lugging lager over to her place again seem to be close to zero, but you you never know when a can of lager might be useful.

  The real unknown about today is what I'll be doing this evening. I feel I ought to go to Chain's gig in The Chatterton Arms on the other side of Bromley, but at the same time I don't want to go. I am only considering it because I suspect that Nigel and Sue will not be going. The biggest downside is that it is a Halloween themed gig, and I don't feel in the mood for all that stuff. I'm not even sure I want to be out on a really cold night just as I try and throw off any last remnants of the 'flu. I'll see how I feel later, but just thinking about seems to have given me a small ache in my right elbow ! It might be that I'll go there, but only for as long as I feel comfortable - whether that is 5 minutes, or the full gig.
Friday 26th October 2018
09:17 BST

  I don't think the weather forecast has ever been more wrong than it was yesterday ! Every revision insisted it was going to be an overcast day, and yet it was actually a sunny day. Eventually it clouded over, but I think there were still sunny periods right up to sunset. With all that unscheduled sunshine it was probably warmer than the predicted maximum temperature of 14° C - it certainly felt like it at times !
rain !
  I thought the forecast for today might be wrong too. I don't think the first drop of rain fell until 5 or 10 minutes after 9am, but the road is most definitely wet outside now. With luck it will brighten up around midday, but with a maximum temperature of just 11° C it is going to be a rather cool day - and subsequent days are going to be even cooler ! We seem to have crossed the threshold ! Tomorrow may see the first frost, and while there may be a few sunny spells in the morning, the prediction is that the maximum temperature will be just 8° C !

  Yesterday was an interesting day. As I mentioned yesterday, the day started with me having some rather painful lower back pain. Fortunately it didn't last long. I suspected that one way of relieving it would be to get off my back, and go for a walk, but I thought my chest was playing up too - the previous morning's walk to the shops had been uncomfortable, and rather wheezy. I ended up just being mostly lazy, and doing very little. In fact I was doing what I think you are supposed to do when ill.

  I think it was unlikely that I lost my appetite because such a concept is rather alien to me, but I can't remember eating much at all during the day yesterday. I think I had a nibble of something in the morning, and then later on I just had some rice cakes with chilli oil on them. I finally checked on the ingredients of the chilli oil I was using. It contains black beans, and it is those and the chilli seeds that seem to give it it's crunchiness. You probably don't want to know the effect of that crunchiness on my lower bowel the next morning !

  I was just about to write "eventually" as if the day had dragged by, but it didn't feel like that. So.....sooner or later it was time to go out for my Thursday evening drink. I was slightly apprehensive about it. I expected to be in pain, and wheezing badly by the time I had walked to the station, but it wasn't like that at all. I've known it to be harder work when I haven't been ill. It couldn't describe it as a simple stroll to the station, but it really wasn't that much worse than that.

  There was a pleasant beer on in the pub last night. It was from the St. Austells brewery, and called "Proper Job". At 4.5% it was a little stronger than a session beer, but only by a little bit. I decided to stick to having just pints while I was there. It was a pleasant session with an assortment of banter. A little of was about the Japanese tea I had bought for Chris. He thought it was probably just what he wanted.
flooded toilet on train
 There were a few delays and cancellations on the trains last night, and so when I saw that the 18:45 train was running, and initially running on time, I quickly knocked back the rest of my final pint, and headed for the station. Wit the aid of some beer the walk actually seemed easier than usual ! Of particular interest was that I was not as short of breath as I usually am after walking up the long stair case to the platform.

  Once on the platform, and waiting for my train, I checked the National Rain app on my phone, and my train might have left Sevenoaks, and perhaps the first couple of stations on time, but it was now showed as delayed by 8 minutes. I think that delay was reduced to 5 minutes by the time the train arrived at Shortlands.

 Maybe that delay was caused by someone halting the train to say the toilet had sprung a leak. I took a picture of the puddle outside the toilet, and you can see the picture on the left. the only trouble is that you can hardly see the puddle (it approx in the centre of the picture) ! I didn't want to get too close to the puddle, and the train was shaking around a lot. So my picture came out very blurred, and I have kept it deliberately small to hide just how crap it was ! At almost a full carriage length from the puddle there was no smell from the puddle, and maybe it was just the fresh water rather than the contents of the toilet that was leaking.

  One unfortunate thing while waiting for my train was that the next train, the one after mine, was cancelled, and it was being announced as cancelled before my train arrived. At least one person assumed that it was my train that was cancelled, and on the assumption there would be at least a 30 minute wait they gave up and left just 5 minutes before a train arrived that would have taken them to every station that the cancelled train would stop at, plus a few beyond that.

  When I arrived back at Catford I feared that the walk up, and over, Catford Bridge would stir up some sort of pain or something, but once again I was wrong, and my walk seemed easy all the way to the fried chicken shop. Once I had been served my chicken and fries I walked as fast as possible to get home before it cooled down. That fast walk caused no particular stress. I thought things were really looking up until I made a sort of twisting and bending movement as I put my key into the lock. I think it was as I straightened up again that a bolt of pain went up the right hand side of my chest.

  By the time I went to bed it was not feeling so strong, but I had to sit bolt upright as I ate and watched a bit of TV. To slump down was agony. I'm not sure why I didn't take any pain killers, but perhaps I knew that it would fade away by itself. In fact it went quicker than that. When I finally got into bed, and I think it might have been as early as 10pm, I turned over onto my right side, and something went crunch above my left breast. It did it essentially painlessly, and it didn't cause any later discomfort, but the ache down my right hand side completely disappeared in an instant.

  I'm not sure if I slept well or not last night. There was a specific reason why is seemed uncomfortable to sleep under the duvet, and for once I don't think it was because I felt too hot, but I can't recall what it was. As in the past, I turned on the heater, and pushed the duvet to the side to sleep uncovered. Much later this morning I felt too hot and turned the heater off. Half an hour later I felt too cold, and pulled the duvet over me !

  This morning I have, or had multiple aches, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. I coughed a bit more during the night, but it was mild compared to a few days ago. It both does and doesn't feel like I have finally kicked that 'flu off. Maybe I am hedging my bets because I have prematurely announced that I have been almost over it a few times now. Maybe I am just going through a period that is just not as bad as others, and there could be days more of this.

  One thing is for certain, I don't fancy any outdoor activities in the rain this morning. Having said that, it does seem to be brightening up a bit now, and I think the rain has stopped a lot earlier than forecast. Maybe it will start again a bit later. There is one or several things I still might do today, and all of them are shopping ! I need some basic shopping, and I could get that from Aldi. There is one specific thing in Tesco that I would like to buy for someone's birthday present, and I am told that Lidl have new stocks of tinned almonds - presumably in preparation for Xmas. Usually when Lidl get them, Aldi does too, and so that may save me a long walk to Lidl.

  If you wonder what is so special about these tinned almonds it is that they come in several very nice flavours - including a nose burning wasabi ! While they are very tasty, they seem less tempting because they are in tins. Somehow it feel like it has to be a more special occasion to make it worthwhile opening a tin. I think I still have two unopened tins that have been in the cupboard since last winter ! They do have a "best before" date that is not very far into the future, but with them being sealed in a tin I could imagine that could potentially last for decades !
Thursday 25th October 2018
09:32 BST

  Every revision of the weather forecast showed less and less sunshine yesterday, and yet it turned out to be sunnier than even the earliest forecast predicted. I think the temperature even hit 17° C - a whole degree higher than the most optimistic version of the forecast.
This can't be right !
  The screenshot above of the forecast for today was taken just a few minutes before I took the picture below.....
blue sky and sunshine this morning
a cool morning
  The forecast for 9am this morning says it should be 8° C, and that there should be light cloud. Maybe these things will happen later, but I took these two pictures within a few minutes of 9am, and they tell a different story to the forecast. The big picture above shows a gorgeous blue sky with one small, almost transparent fluffy cloud, and the buildings on the left lit up by the clear rays of the sun. It could almost be a summer's morning. The colour of the leaves on the tree on the right show it to be autumn.

 The little picture on the left shows that it was a fair bit cooler than forecast. Maybe that is forgiveable because the sensor for this thermometer is in permanent shade on the north side of my house. There was one bit of the display that I didn't include in the picture because it was feint and a bit indistinct. It was the barometric reading, and it's prediction. It was actually showing that it might rain later !

  It is hard to comment on what the weather will be like today when the forecast has started out so wrong. The forecast has just been revised in the last 20 minutes, and it still shows today as being overcast all day long. That was how a lot of yesterday was forecast, and yet yesterday's reality was that I was laying on my bed feeling really quite warm as hot sunshine came through the window and curtains onto my bed. It felt like it was a summer day behind glass, and the effect lasted most of the afternoon !

  The TV forecast last night (and maybe the night before) mentions cold air coming down from the north. Maybe it is just a bit slow getting here, and the forecast is being a bit premature. The coming trend is shown as colder, and greyer days for the next week. That would be consistent with this time of year, and is probably correct, but one day at a time.....

  One of the jobs I had to do yesterday (although in truth I could have done it today) was to go and do some speciality shopping. The prime task was to go to the Oriental specialist shop on Catford Bridge to buy some "loose" Chinese tea for Chris so I can give it to him this evening. While I was in the area I went into the Turkish supermarket which is just one shop away. I bought some mixed bean salad pots from there, and also a chunk of Polish baked smokey bacon. It seems like the Poles use a different cut of meat for their bacon. Either that or their pigs have much more natural fat. It is probably incredibly unhealthy, but then again it is incredibly tasty !

  The nice lady, who is actually a real hustler, who runs the Oriental shop said that they had run out of Chinese loose tea, but that some Japanese tea was almost identical. So I bought a packet of that. While I was in the shop I had a look around and wasted some money on a couple of bottles of Japanese beer that were brewed in the UK. I also bought two jars of chilli oil - one flavoured with shrimp, and the other just described as "crunchy".  When I went back to the till I was persuaded to buy a couple of packets of chicken larb (larb ?) flavoured crispy seaweed crackers - "they are on special offer !!".

  I had also bought a couple of 2l bottles of Diet Coke from the Turkish supermarket. While it was nice walking in the bright sunshine, it seemed like hard work carrying everything home. My chest felt quite congested, and that got me coughing again, and that got my chest hurting. I was sure it was just the usual wonky rib cage pains rather than anything more serious, but it was still very unpleasant, and a strong indicator that I was far from being over the cold I had been suffering from. I am increasingly of the opinion that I have had, and continue to have, real 'flu.

  Once I got home I had to try those crispy seaweed crackers to satisfy my curiosity. They turned out to be a bit like a rice cracker than had been coated on one side with seaweed. They were rather nice, but probably not the sort of thing you would want to often. I do have a second, unopened packet that I look forward to eating at some time in the not too distant future. I think the novelty factor is probably a big part of their appeal, and so if I can hold off eating that second packet for a week or two I will enjoy them more.

  I did one other thing besides eating seaweed crackers, and also a couple of pots of bean salads. That was to wash the sheet and pillow cases I had taken off my bed over a week ago. I have saved the duvet cover for another day. That will be harder work, but just the sheet and pillow cases were fairly easy to hand wash. After, and before that, I spent some time laying on my bed soaking up the sunshine that was pouring through my bedroom windows. It felt wonderful !

  As evening approached I prepared my evening meal. I put the chunk of smoked Polish bacon in my mini oven, and re-cooked it for about 40 minutes. It isn't clear from the packaging if that bacon is actually fully cooked or not. It certainly is not raw meat, but it might only be part cooked while being smoked. Once it was cooked to my satisfaction I ate it with some English mustard and a pile of green beans. It was almost certainly very unhealthy (assuming animal fat is still forbidden), but it was so delicious. It is worth dying early for such pleasures !

  For the rest of the evening I did a few things on my PC, and I watched a bit of TV before going to bed. I was not sure what sleep would be like last night. Like the previous day or two, I was only coughing very intermittently during the afternoon and evening. As soon as I laid down to try and go to sleep I had to cough up some mucus that must have slid up my windpipe when I was laying down, but as far as I can remember it was just a one off, and I was soon asleep.

  I woke a few times in the night, and each time I had to clear my throat, but generally I seemed to feel sort of OK. That changed after about 5am when I started to feel uncomfortable, and had to clear my throat much more frequently.  When I finally decided to get up I found I didn't feel any better than most morning for the previous week or two. I mostly stopped coughing once I was out of bed, but I felt incredibly stiff, and the top of my chest was painful in an aching sort of way. Eventually I opened the curtains, and found a strong reason to grab my camera. I went downstairs, and stepped just outside my back door (while only wearing underpants !!) to take a snap of the blue sky and sunshine.

  Maybe it was the cold air outside, even though I was only exposed to it for 20 seconds, that added to my misery. I came back upstairs to transfer the picture I had just taken to my PC. As I sat down I became aware that I had terrible lower back pain. As a rule I don't suffer from lower back pain, and it must be 10 years or so since I last suffered from it for a a day or so. This time I am treating it as just another symptom of what is probably 'flu. Yesterday morning it was my right wrist that was aching badly. I don't think I mentioned it yesterday. That wrist ache seemed to fade away after a few hours, and there are already hints that my lower back pain is starting to fade - either than or I have found a comfortable sitting position.

 If the sun was to stay out I could be tempted to do something outdoors. On the other hand I wonder if that would be wise, and that I ought to act as if I have a filthy disease - which I do seem to have ! It is possible that I might pop out to Tesco or Aldi later, but I think I will probably save my energy for later this afternoon when I go out for my regular Thursday early evening drink. Maybe some extra strong beer would be good for my aches and pains.....or maybe paracetamol would be more sensible !
Wednesday 24th October 2018
09:12 BST

  The temperature may have briefly been one degree higher than the day before, but yesterday was not so nice. There was supposed to be sunny intervals happening all day long, but the reality was that it seemed to feel a bit dull for a lot of the day. Maybe the most positive thing was that it didn't rain, but then again no rain was forecast.
grey and getting greyer
  The funny thing about today's forecast is that each revision shows less and less sunshine. Originally sunny intervals were shown from midday to sunset (as above) but the latest revision on shows sunny intervals from 4pm until sunset. No revision shows the sunshine that is now warming up my room as I write this. Looking out my window I can see some quite big patches of blue sky ! The current temperature seems to be 2° less than forecast, and that is also explained by the cloud cover being less than forecast. The current prediction for the afternoon temperature is just 15° C - maybe it will be even less in later revisions. It seems strange that the latest forecast for tomorrow is looking a lot like today's reality - sunny periods in the morning, but grey and cool for the rest of the day. It's getting worse....Saturday might see the first frost !

  I ended up doing a lot of resting yesterday, but a lot of it wasn't resting horizontally. One bit wasn't resting at all ! It was washing some t-shirts and underwear. Some of my resting could more accurately be described as zero pressure leisure least that is one possible way of describing little jobs that take little effort, and could be done at any time. One such little job was, in the grand scheme of things, important, but could have been done any time in the next few months.

  That job was to charge the batteries for my small camcorders. It also gave me a chance to compare those camcorders. I have three small camcorders that I've picked up over the years, and are of the type that record onto memory cards rather than tapes. The first I bought was a little JVC Experia camcorder. It was probably bottom of the range, and I was not impressed with it at all when I tried to use it at a gig. I then bought a mid range, but if I recall correctly, discounted, "last years model" Sony Camcorder. That worked a lot better, and best of all it had the ability to reduce the microphone sensitivity so the sound didn't distort at loud gigs.

  In many ways it is a fine camcorder, but it is let down by being unable to focus properly in typical gig lighting. The third camcorder is a higher end Sony that I found in a second hand shop. I bought it maybe 2 years ago. By that time everyone used a mobile phone for video, and they are fine for most peoples uses. The mobile phone, and the video capabilities of DSLR cameras has left the camcorder almost obsolete. That is why I paid just £130 for a camcorder in near new condition that probably sold for ten times that amount when new on the market !

  All three camcorders have now had their batteries fully charged, and for a while I played with all three camcorders to compare their abilities. The two Sony camcorders have complimentary properties, and could maybe best used together - one on a tripod to capture a basic view and good sound, and the other used for close ups and other cut in views. Maybe the very best thing would be to not the camcorders at all, and use the rather superior capabilities of my Canon DSLR camera !
smoked haddock with mange tout 
Doing very little all day can still raise an appetite ! Pictured above, my lunch. It was mange tout (the preparation of which is probably the best reason for the existence of ready meals) with smoked haddock poached in water and vinegar with an over generous amount of butter. Fortunately most of the butter stayed in the pan as I ate the fish and mange tout.
rice cakes and Marmite
Later in the afternoon I fancied a snack, and apparently rice cakes are very low in everything except munchability - provided they have a suitable topping. Marmite flavoured rice cakes exist, but they never seem strong enough. So I spread on a nice thick layer of delicious Marmite !

 In the evening I had the rest of the previous days Chinese takeaway. As usual, it was very nice....although the "Chefs Special" rice was not that good. It was basically plain boiled rice with a topping of left overs. It needed a good sprinkle of hot pepper sauce to zap it up a bit. I have no idea how it works, but once again the Chinese food conformed to it's stereotype, and a few hours later I felt hungry again. I think I had a munch on a big handful of assorted nuts while watching some TV later in the evening.

  During the day I noticed that I was starting to feel better again, and that like the day before, I was coughing a lot less. I wondered if that would hold good after I went to bed. The night before it seemed that as soon as I laid down my cough started again with a vengeance ! Fortunately that was not the case last night. I did cough more once I laid down, but it didn't seem nearly as bad as the night before. I probably slept better last night than I've done for the last week or two. For one thing I was able to sleep under the duvet without getting all sweaty.

  At 3am this morning some sort of threshold was passed. My bedroom had cooled off a lot, but I was still very warm under the duvet - maybe feeling too warm. So I turned the heater on low, and ended up gradually sleeping less under the duvet. I probably did it one limb at a time, and by this morning I was probably completely uncovered. At odd time in the night I woke up to have a cough, but if I recall correctly, it mostly only took one or two coughs to clear my throat - which was a lot better than hacking away until the annoying mucus finally shifted.

  I didn't feel great when I decided to get up a little while after it was light outside. It seemed that some of the infection that has been doing the rounds of my body had tried out my inner ear for a while. It was only a momentary thing, but as I turned my head there was a lag of a second before the world caught up with me. That was the only occasion when that happened, but this morning I am still suffering from the usual things. In particular my right shoulder is very stiff and sore, and my rib cage is complaining too. Mostly it is a pain across the top of my chest, just under my chin. If I feel the need I think a couple of painkillers (Paracetamol) will probably damp that right down.

  There are a few things I might do today. I don't think it is going to be bright enough to inspire me to do any outdoor activities (it has now clouded over since I first started writing), but I will be going out to do some shopping. One of the very worst bits of shopping could easily be a wind up, but in this case I don't think so. Chris has asked me to go to the Chinese shop on Catford Bridge for a packet of "loose tea". There are several things that will make this job very traumatic. Foremost is my extreme hatred of tea. It is not so extreme for dry, raw tea, but in made up, liquid form, I have a phobia about it ! Obviously I am woefully ignorant about tea, and more so about how it is bought from a Chinese shop. That is compounded by Chris being very uncertain about what it is he actually wants. I suspect he is trying to impress a girlfriend....

  I will also be doing some shopping for myself. I might buy a few bits, mainly bean salads, but possibly some fruit, from the Turkish supermarket also on Catford Bridge. I think I'll take that home before going back out to Tesco, or Aldi. If I feel like an extra walk I might go to Lidl, or maybe I could go to Iceland. So many choices, but none will keep me amused all day. It is how I fill in the rest of the day that is currently unknown.
Tuesday 23rd October 2018
09:31 BST

  The best the weather could manage yesterday was just 14° C, but it was a very sunny 14° C. Inside my bedroom, at the front of my house, and which faces south, it felt quite warm with the sunshine pouring through the windows, but from maybe 5pm, when the sun was too low in the sky, and was too far west to shine through the windows, it started to cool down very quickly.
it should be sunny, but isn't yet
  It has been a very cool morning. I haven't actually checked, but I feel sure it was at least a few degrees less than the 8° C predicted for this morning. That is not the only thing that is wrong. We have yet to have a single sunny interval this morning, and the latest revision of the forecast predicts that in just half an hour there will be non stop sunshine for a good couple of hours. It is possible that the sun may be about to just peep over the top of one of many clouds in the sky, but if it does I can't imagine it lasting for more than a few minutes. Maybe that cloud will break up later, and we will get the promised sunny intervals. It will still be a cool day though. The latest revision of he forecast predicts a few hours at 15° C, and a possible brief excursion to 16° C. Tomorrow may see an hour or two of sunny intervals, and the temperature should be similar to today, but after that it is all downhill with cold grey days for a whole week.

  I finished my photo selecting/editing project yesterday. It took until mid afternoon before I was ready to upload it to social media. A few photos were very good, but many seemed mediocre, and became worse and worse looking the more I looked at them. I am aware that I was looking at them with an ultra critical eye, and that all of them probably at least the matched the very best that an iPhone camera can take. The best were much better.

  The best accolade came from the lead guitarist/manager of Rincewind, who had hoped I would be there with my camera - which was fair enough because I probably would not have accepted an official commission. I posted my picture with the comment that I thought there were a couple that would have earned me my free pint of Guinness, but if there were more then I should get another pint. He commented that he should probably buy me several pints. I wonder when, and if our paths will cross next ?

  One of the good things about yesterday is that it seemed my recent cold was on the wane. By late afternoon I became aware that I was hardly coughing at all. Even a change of air when I dashed out to the corner shop didn't provoke any coughing. During the 2 minutes there, and again the same coming back, I felt surprisingly close to normal. Being bathed in the warm rays of the sun probably helped a lot. Sadly it seemed that my hopes were a bit premature.

  There was not much different I could have done except relax after dealing with those photos, and I spent a mainly lazy evening. I had stuff in the fridge to cook for dinner, but when it came to it I didn't really fancy any of it. To some small degree I had lost my appetite yesterday. It was sort of intentional. I had an idea that I might try and fast until the evening. It didn't quite work out as well as hoped, but I think I ate a lot less than I might have otherwise done. I certainly managed to fool myself enough to believe that I deserved a takeaway for dinner.

  I chose to order some Chinese from the same place with the 5 star perfect hygiene rating as I used recently. My choice of food was hardly the height of Chinese cuisine though ! The part I ate last night was chicken curry and chips. It was quite a large portion of chips, and I ate half of them with some spare ribs on salt and chilli (a version of spare ribs that I hadn't tried until recently, and quickly learned to love).

  I had a vague idea that I might go to bed very early yesterday. I prepared for bed, and I was in bed with a book as early as 8.30pm. My plan was to read for maybe 30 minutes, and try to get to sleep by, or soon after 9pm. This was based on the idea that I seemed to have all but stopped coughing by then, and I expected to have the best sleep I have had in a week or more. The only trouble was that as soon as I laid down I started coughing. It was as if being horizontal allowed mucus from my lungs to flow up my windpipe, and start to tickle it. Maybe that was the actual case !

  Any idea of an early night were blown out the window by that persistent cough. I have no idea what time it was before I got to sleep. I feel it may not have been much later than 11pm, and possibly even as early as 10pm. What I do feel is that it was only deep tiredness that allowed me to get to sleep at all. Many times in the night I would wake up and have to have a good long cough to dislodge some tickling mucus in my windpipe. It seems strange, but maybe understandable to be able to get back to sleep very quickly once I could breathe clearly again without that tickling/burbling sensation from inside my chest.

  It gives some hope for the future that the amount of coughing I was doing fell away quite quickly once I got up. At the moment I just need to clear my throat at quite infrequent intervals. It seems that the chest ache that all the coughing gives me seems to have reduced a lot too. I seem to feel healthier this morning compared to yesterday, but I feel that it may still be several days away before I can try and start to get my stamina, such as it is, back.

  Last night I considered some possibilities for today. that was before I laid down and started coughing again. I had thought about the idea of exploring some of the local rail services out of Kings Cross or Paddington, although both are very sparse compared to the services out of Liverpool Street station. I also considered the possibility of going to Burnham On Crouch and Southminster. They are adjacent stations on the single track branch line off the line from Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria station. Burnham On Crouch almost pretends to be a seaside resort, but is actually on a bit of muddy river just before it empties out into the north sea. Southminster is a single platform terminus in a one horse town.

  The idea of going out "train spotting", or station spotting as I like to think of it, did rather depend on it being bright and sunny, as well as me feeling a bit better that I seem to be. It is still not sunny, although it might be getting brighter, and I don't feel that wonderful. That leaves a huge void in my plans for today. I'm not sure what I will be doing today, although maybe two things come to mind. I have some laundry to do, and I probably out to do some more garden clearance. The latter is probably quite important considering the brown wheelie bin costs money to have, and I've ignored it for 2 weeks now.

Here's some video taken of Rincewind on Sunday night. They are playing that old Kinks number "You Really Got Me".
Unfortunately my little Sony DCR-SX45 just can't cut it in gig lighting. On the plus side the audio recording is usually good.
Monday 22nd October 2018
09:36 BST

  It took several attempts for the forecast to match reality yesterday, and I posted an out of date screenshot (as I usually do because I always take the screenshot early in the morning). Contrary to what that early screenshot showed, it was a very sunny day yesterday. The bit that was right, as it usually is, was the predicted temperature. 17° C was predicted, and that was roughly what it was in the afternoon. It was rather nice that the temperature was quite slow to drop away after dark. By 9pm, three hours after darkness fell, it was still t-shirt weather - provided you grit your teeth and didn't stop moving !
another sunny day
  We start this week with more bright sunshine, and a nice blue sky. The catch is that it is not going to be very warm. The maximum temperature will be just 14° C - except behind glass. The sunshine coming through my upstairs front windows is already warming up my bedroom nicely ! The next couple of days could be very slightly warmer with all day sunny intervals, but maybe no non stop sunshine. After that the forecast probably gets very inaccurate, but the general idea is that it is going to be very much like Autumn.

  My first project yesterday was to select and edit the best, or most interesting, pictures of Chain I had taken last Saturday night. I had actually started the job very early in the morning because I was too uncomfortable for sleep. After taking some time out to have a small snooze, and write my daily diary here, I finally finished the job at around 11am if I recall correctly. After that I had little to do before my second and final project of the day. That was just as well as I fancied some intensive lazyness before my second project starting at the end of the afternoon.

  I didn't feel all that good yesterday, although it wasn't until a lot later that I realised just how bad I felt. Mostly I was feeling the effects of the chesty cough that seems the next, and hopefully final stage of the cold I've had. This cough can be quite intermittent. Sometimes I'll hardly cough at all, and at other times it can become rather intensive. The former is when it just takes one cough to shift a bit of tickly mucus in my windpipe, and the latter is when the mucus doesn't seem to want to shift, and just sticks there feeling like it could drown you.

  All that coughing left, and still leaves my rib cage feeling quite sore. It would also have the effect of making me feel slightly wheezy as I walked to the pub for my second project, and close to very wheezy as I walked home again. The strange thing was that like on Saturday night, once I was in the pub I felt quite good. Also, just like Saturday night, I hardly coughed at all while I was in the pub, but started again a little while before leaving.

  The reason for my visit to the pub - The Black Cat - was that Rincewind were having a combined rehearsal and photo shoot in there during the early evening. It was an unadvertised public event, but I had been invited with a light hearted "don't forget to bring your camera" tacked on the end of the invite. It subsequently turned out that I was expected to be the official cameraman - a post I partly declined, but did anyway. Oh well, I did earn a free pint of Guinness for it, and Richard from the pub gave me one on the house too because he likes my pictures.

  I can say it here because no one is reading this, but Rincewind were not really that good. As my friend Michael put it, "they are 4 talented musicians playing in 4 different bands, and not as one band". Later on in the evening, after they had warmed up, and stopped playing to the video camera, they did seem to play better together. One thing the band did have was two video camerapersons, but only wielding iPhones. One was a woman who did seem to have a very steady hand, and the other was a man who had a steady-cam holder for his iPhone. That was fascinating to watch. It  had servo motors to keep the phone steady and level as it was moved around.

  The lead guitarist, Richard Tokarski, was also the manager of the band - two roles that I have doubts are compatible. He is not a young man, and I suspect this is his last attempt to get a professional band together, and to actually make money from it. The band is fronted by Elfie - a rather un-elfin like woman who is big of voice, and several other things too. I would imagine her future lies in opera rather than rock and roll. The drummer, Ashley Mills, a man contrary to his social media profile picture, I had seen drumming before in other bands. It was the bass player who was most interesting.
Steve Cox then and now
  The top half of the picture above was taken on the 7th May 2010. I think it was the first gig picture I ever took. In those days the band were called The Bluesicians. A year or two later they changed their name to Chain. Standing on the left is Steve Cox their original bass player. He is now the bass player for Rincewind. In the lower picture he is playing the same bass guitar, wearing the same clothes and shoes, and standing in almost exactly the same spot, in the same pub, as he was eight and a half years ago ! The only thing that has changed is the decor and the name of the pub.
 I started out using just the ambient light in the pub to take my pictures, but the changing coloured lighting in the pub didn't make it easy, plus there wasn't quite enough light for some of my lens sensitive lenses. I decided that I would use my remote triggered flash gun to give some extra depth to my pictures. I have yet to inspect them properly, but I think it worked OK. In all I have 152 pictures to select maybe 15 to 20 decent pictures from. That is going to take a big chunk of my day, today.

  As I mentioned earlier, I felt quite wheezy as I walked back from the pub at around 9pm last night. That was not good for such a short walk. The odd thing is that I felt wheezy after just the first few paces, and after another half dozen paces it didn't get any worse. It didn't feel good, but it seemed I would feel no worse if I walked another mile or two. It was still nice to get home though. That wheeziness was almost certainly made worse by the cool night air. I was just wearing a t-shirt, and in other circumstances it seemed to still be just inside my comfort zone.

  Once indoors I recovered very quickly - within a minute or two. As I did so my mind drifted towards the idea of food. I did have a small late lunch, but I was looking forward to some hot dinner. I ended up eating two low calories ready meals. One was a smokey flavoured chicken is a sort of vegetable sauce, and the other was a chicken chow mien. The latter was actually quite bland, and needed some hot pepper sauce to liven it up. Even after eating those two ready meals I wanted more. I wanted something like sticky toffee pudding with custard. Unfortunately, or more realistically, fortunately, I didn't have anything like that here to eat !

  Last night's sleep followed a now familiar pattern. I managed to get to sleep fairly quickly, and I seemed to sleep OK for 2 or 3 hours. From then onwards my sleep was terrible. I was waking up for a pee, or to have a good cough, or for unknown reasons every hour or less. Maybe I woke up at least one time because I didn't like the dream I was having. One dream I do partly remember was not very nice. It seemed to feature going up and down in very small, perhaps 2 person, lifts. It was very claustrophobic.

  When I first got up this morning I felt pretty dreadful. All sorts of bits of me ached, but with my ribacage.chest taking prime position. I do remember my ribcage going "crunch" a couple of times when turning over in bed. Something like 90 minutes have passed since getting up, and I do feel far better now - but still rather fragile. I will be happy when the last of this filthy disease has finished !

  Today I will be mostly resting in a busy sort of way. A big chunk of my day will be taken up with photo selecting and editing. Apart from that I have books to read, and snoozes to be had (I hope). If I am very lucky my cough will start to disappear today. There is a slight hint the process has started, but I am acutely aware I could be counting my chickens before they hatch. We'll see.
Sunday 21st October 2018
08:56 BST

  The weather gets cooler and cooler, and the days get shorter and shorter as we head towards the winter months, but yesterday wasn't that bad. The afternoon temperature was a slightly warm 17° C, and there was a lot of sunshine.
maybe slightly warmer than yesterday
  The screenshot above is already out of date. The latest revision shows non stop sunshine until 2pm, and then sunny intervals until sunset. The maximum temperature this afternoon is now shown as a slightly warm 18° C. The temperature as I write this should be as high as 11° C, but outside my back door, on the shaded north side of my house, it is only 8° C ! Tomorrow might see non stop sunshine for all the daylight hours, but the temperature is predicted to be rather cool, ranging from 8 to just 13° C.

  I felt only moderately rotten after a rough start to yesterday, and maybe only slightly rotten later in the afternoon. I certainly didn't feel bad enough to bother the hospitals A&E department, but I am coming around to the idea of trying to get an appointment with my doctor to discuss 40 minutes of pains in the 10 minutes allocated to an appointment. I wondered if a walk in the sunshine would do me good, and the answer was yes and no.

  It did feel good walking in the sunshine yesterday morning, and while the air temperature was not very warm, I soon warmed up enough to get a sheen of sweat on my forehead. Wearing a black t-shirt in the bright sunshine was a big contributory factor. I had a vague notion that I might take a walk in the linear park towards Lower Sydenham, but I had only got as far as Catford Bridge when I decided otherwise.

  I did an about turn and walked down to the high street. My first port of call was the hole in the wall to get some extra spending money in my wallet. Then I went to Poundworld to buy some disinfectant, amongst a few other things. With no facilities to do a boil wash, it seems disinfectant is the only way of killing the bacteria that can get lodged in shirts or towels, and that stinks.

  The walk, although not as long as I originally aimed for, did get the wrinkles out of a few muscles, but I didn't feel as good as I hoped I might. I had a lazy afternoon after that. Perhaps the only constructive thing I did was to prepare, and pre-cook what would become my supper a lot later in the day. I did have some crazy ideas about trying to fast for most of yesterday, but I gave in and had an alleged low calorie ready meal for a slightly late lunch because I couldn't face drinking on an empty stomach later on.

  It is lucky that Chain's gig in The Mitre in Greenwich last night was an early(ish) starting gig at 8pm. I was determined to go to it despite still feeling rather off colour. It meant leaving home in the dark, but it was less than 90 minutes after sunset, and it didn't fully feel like night time when I went out. Maybe I am slowly making the adjustment to the much shorter days now - and sadly they will be getting much shorter still before the winter solstice.

  I set off to the bus stop bolstered by a couple of pain killers. When I got to the bus stop the Countdown display showed that no 199 buses were expected for over 20 minutes. I had great faith that that was wrong, and it was just that the transponder on the bus had failed to indicate it's progress. My faith was rewarded when suddenly a 199 bus popped up on the display, and was predicted to arrive in 3 minutes - which it did.

  I arrived in The Mitre a few minutes before Chain did their sound check - about the perfect time. After a pint of Guinness I began to feel quite good - where quite good roughly translates to "normal". It didn't seem to be any bother to adopt some of the strange positions, like squatting down, to take photographs. Initially I tried to use the ambient light on the band, and I did manage to get some acceptable photos like that, but after a while I resorted to using my flash gun.
Chain at The Mitre
Using the flash gun means I could use the wide angle lens to get the whole band in one shot without moving too far back from where the band played - which would have been tricky last night with quite a crowd of revellers in the way.
Close up on Jo
A low angle shot of Jo taken by squatting down close to the floor, and not falling over !

 It is my habit to leave The Mitre at the end of the first set because the pub starts to feel over full, and a little too boisterous for my liking (although the band love it). At one point I did wonder if I might stay a bit longer than that, but it seemed that my period of feeling good was coming to an end. For one thing it seemed to be getting increasingly hot inside, and fresh air seemed like it would be very nice. I felt quite sticky when I left the pub. What was worse was that I started coughing a lot. Going out into the cold night air made that worse.

  Fortunately I did not have a long wait for a bus home - probably less than 10 minutes. I felt OK once I was on the bus, but back in Catford it felt like a hard slog from the bus stop to home. I was only coughing intermittently, but it was enough to get my chest/rib cage sore. I wasn't sure if I could feel another more sinister pain under the more expected pains, but before I could consider it further I was home, and once indoors, out of the cold night air, I soon felt better. For a while I felt even better with some hot supper inside me, although an experimental extra dose of chilli sauce on my food did get me coughing again.
sprouts, bacon and chestnuts
  My supper was the rather unconventional sprouts, bacon and chestnuts. It is usually thought of as an extra vegetable to go with a roast dinner, but in a large portion it makes for a tasty meal. I was quite pleased how it came out. Once upon a time Tesco used to sell frozen bags of  sprouts, bacon and chestnuts around Xmas time, and last Xmas Aldi said they would be selling the same, but I never found any in the shops. I will still buy some if I see any in the shops this winter, but I reckon my home made recipe is just as good.

  There wasn't much to do after eating supper but to go to bed. I'm not sure when that was, but I think it was at least 11.30pm. I feel fairly sure I was asleep before midnight, and for three hours I seemed to sleep well. Maybe I would have slept well again after I had a quick wee, and went back to bed, but I seemed to get a quick succession of messages coming through on my phone that stopped me falling asleep. From then on I slept lousily.

  After an hour or two of tossing and turning I decided to make a start on the photos I had taken at Chain's gig. Actually I wasn't tossing and turning because I knew that would really stir up my wonky rib cage. Instead I relied on coughing a lot to stir up my rib cage and get it feeling quite sore. It was really annoying, but of there is any comfort to be gained from it, it is that it seems that the mucus in my windpipe that is so tickly is slowly drying up. Once that mucus has gone away I hope I can say that I am finally 100% over my recent cold, and my ribcage can finally settle down for a more comfortable life.

  After an hour or two of photo editing I tried going back to bed, and I did manage to get some sleep. Maybe more than I imagined I would get, but I still felt desperately tired when I got up again. At the moment I feel almost comfortable. My shoulders and neck feel a bit stiff and sore for some reason, but it is not that intrusive most of the time. I am still coughing too frequently, and that is a great annoyance. I still have a strong desire for hours of deep and dreamless sleep. Other than that I will probably live !

  There are but two things on my agenda today (apart from a quick visit to the corner shop at some point). The first is to finish selecting and editing the best photos from last night, and the second is to go to another gig today. Today's gig will be far less taxing. For one thing it starts at 5.30pm, and it is still daylight then - just ! The other thing is that it is in The Black Cat - just 6 minutes walk away. The band is Rinceworld, and they are taking advantage of The Black Cat's offer of free rehearsal space when it is quiet in the pub late on a Sunday afternoon. Very few have tried it, and none have ever come back ! Today Rinceworld will also be shooting some video, and doing a photo shoot.

  I suspect the video will be just amateur stuff done on an iPhone, and the photo shoot will be likewise. Hopefully someone will have thought that extra lighting will be good for both, but I doubt it. At least one of the photographers will be me ! I was invited to come along with my camera by the bands manager. I hope he is not relying solely on me to take pictures ! Oh well, at least it will be some entertainment of what is usually a very boring Sunday evening, and as well as being almost on my doorstep it might be worth a free drink or two !
Saturday 20th October 2018
08:46 BST

  The weather didn't quite follow the forecast yesterday, but it was fairly close. If anything it was the earlier revisions of the forecast that may have come closer to reality in the afternoon. The day started off very cool, but warmed up to around 16° C before cooling down to about 9° C at midnight. The morning was exceptionally sunny, and the forecast was revised to show the sun shining all day, but the earlier version that showed sunny intervals in the afternoon came closest to reality.
another pleasant day
  Today could be a re-run of yesterday. After a very cool start, possibly more like 6° C than the 8° C forecast, the temperature will rise to a warm feeling 17° C - at least it should feel warm in the sunshine. I was just about to write that like yesterday we seem to have full sunshine rather than a sunny interval, but the sun just dimmed, and a look at the sky does show a lot of mostly thin looking cloud. If the forecast has any credibility that cloud should soon disperse, and leave the sun to bathe us in it's golden warmth until the ridiculous early sunset we get now (17:57 tonight !). You'll note that the headline temperature is shown as 18° C, but at no point in the forecast does it actually reach that, and even expanding each hour doesn't show it will feel any warmer than the temperature predicted for that hour. Tomorrow is also shown to be 18° C in the headline figure, but the hour by hour forecast only shows 17° C like today. It should be bright tomorrow, but only sunny intervals are shown rather than continuous sunshine.

  On the whole I didn't feel terribly wonderful yesterday, but for a lot of the time I felt better than the day before. As I mentioned I would do yesterday, I washed the hand towel that had accidently fallen in the toilet. It was only a small job, but as expected it did make me feel slightly better. That spurred me on to try a more ambitious job in the early afternoon. I decided to go to Aldi to get some shopping. Once again the walking, even carrying a moderate load with me on the way back, didn't seem to have any negative effects, and may have been positive, although once I was home there were hints about what was to come later.

  The legacy of lost sleep was catching up with me, and I did feel tired after I had got home and unpacked the shopping. If I recall correctly I managed a small snooze in the afternoon. Ultimately that small snooze was not to help with how I felt later on. During the afternoon I resisted the temptation of all the food I had just bought, and did my best to eat very little so I felt fresher for the evening.

  My original desire was to get out and see Lord Algea playing in Greenwich, but as the time approached to get ready to go out my enthusiasm seemed to fade away. It was one of those occasions when I would have had to force myself to go out in the belief that once I got moving, and perhaps after my first pint of Guinness, I would feel fine. Maybe I started to feel too many negative things about going out. Although I have seen the band play a few times in the past, and I knew them to be good, there would be no one there that I new, and it was in a pub I had never been in before (apart from the possibility that I might have met someone in there almost 30 years ago for an afternoon drink).

  Perhaps the real killer was that night had fallen a couple of hours before I would have left to get there. It had switched my brain to night time mode, and it made me just want to stay in, stay warm, eat dinner, and ultimately go to bed - and that is exactly what I did. With the benefit of hindsight it might have been better if I had gone out because I might have eaten less - in particular a
packet of smoked kabanos less !

  The last thing I did was to watch Have I Got New For You on BBC1. While watching it I felt the urge to munch on that packet of kabanos - smoked Polish sausages. The programme finished at 9.30pm, and I decided I might as well go to bed soon after. I felt mostly OK, but now and then I did need a good powerful cough to clear some mucus from my throat/windpipe. Nevertheless I was soon asleep.

  I woke up a few hours later feeling pretty bad. It was a mix of things all conspiring together. The underlying thing was my wonky rib cage. It was made worse by the amount of coughing I was doing. It seemed that laying down made it much worse. It was, and still is, a rather unexpected remnant of the cold I had - or so it seems. Sometimes it would really shake up my ribcage, and the worst times were when I tried to cough while my body was slightly twisted - such as half in and half out of bed. Just to add to the misery it seems those smoked sausages had given me indigestion - although I didn't realise that straight away.

  Perhaps the worst thing was that I had been trying to sleep laying on my left side, but woke up laying on my right side. I had crunched my rib cage doing that, probably as I turned over while still sleeping. I woke up feeling like I really was having a heart attack, and I started making mental plans for getting some useful stuff together in my ruck sack, and taking a walk to the hospital. In the end I concluded it probably wasn't a heart attack, but just a bad attack of my rib cage plus indigestion.

  It took ages to get back to sleep again, and even when I did sleep it was not for very long periods of time. One of the times I fell asleep I may have only been asleep for 20 minutes, and woke up with most pains gone or eclipsed by one strong pain centred just under my left man boob. As far as I knew it is not a symptom of a heart attack. So I turned over, and as I did the pain went away from there, and appeared in a milder form on the other side of my chest - except it was no long just one point but a sort of short line running up and down.

  I did eventually manage to sleep for at least a whole hour, but I still felt pretty dreadful when I woke up. Maybe the worst feeling was that I didn't think I would be able to get back to sleep again, and I still felt very tired. At the moment I have a sort of general ache over much of my upper chest with a few twinges here and there. I'm having such a twinge right now in the form of a medium, but fading pain slightly above, and slightly to the right of my right man boob. Just before writing this I gave my arms a stretch by washing a single t-shirt that I had left soaking in disinfectant in the hope of curing a nasty musty smell it seemed to acquire whenever it got damp. I gave it 5 rinses after the disinfectant, and then a quick soak in fabric conditioner. Maybe I might iron it with a nice hot iron later to help kill any lingering bugs.....but probably won't.

  I hope that I feel better during the day because there is just one thing I want to do today, and that is to be able to go out this evening to see Chain playing in The Mitre in Greenwich. It is going to take a lot of willpower to not let the early darkness put me off going out. I'm unsure how I am going to spend the intervening hours, but I am torn between a walk in the sunshine, or trying to catch up with my sleep with some serious snoozing. Probably both would be a good idea. The sleep rather depends on being able to lie down comfortably, and I'm not sure my rib cage will allow that.

  An alternative plan might still be to go along to the hospital and complain of chest pains, and see where it takes me. I'm not sure why I feel reluctant to do that. The last time, back in 2013 I had a ride in an ambulance, several in fact if you include inter-hospital transfers, a quad heart bypass, and it was all rather enjoyable. Of course then it was time of work, and so had extra value. Now I am retired it would be less exciting.
Friday 19th October 2018
09:18 BST

  It was mostly nice yesterday. There was plenty of sunshine. During some parts of the morning there were some very long periods of sunshine, but the sun was more intermittent in the afternoon. The early afternoon temperature was about the 15° C that was forecast, which felt pleasant, but it seemed to cool down a bit faster than expected as the sun went down.
maybe not that warm, but very sunny
  My thermometers all agreed that it was just under 6° C at 8am this morning. That is rather cool, and a couple of degrees cooler than forecast. Also the forecast for sunny intervals was wrong. As far as I am aware the sun has been shining non stop from a clear blue sky since it first popped it's head above the horizon. That clear sky explains why the temperature was lower than expected. The latest revision to the forecast shows that the sun should stay shining all day today, but the temperature will rise no higher than 15° C, but it should stay there for most of the afternoon. After sunset the temperature will fall quite quickly. Tomorrow and Sunday are currently forecast to be very much like the screenshot above of today's forecast before it was revised. It's probably about the best we can expect for late October.

  Although there were a few occasions yesterday morning when my chest felt rather uncomfortable, none of them seemed bad enough, or the positions of the pains in places that seemed to indicate a visit to the hospital was needed. So The rest of the day proceeded pretty much as normal. One test I decided to do was to hand wash some laundry. I had a funny feeling it would be less arduous than it might have been, and it did seem to lessen my chest aches like I hoped it might. No part of that wash was anything that was particularly heavy when dripping with water, like a bath towel, but it seems it was heavy enough to pull my chest back into a shape/position that was more comfortable.

  It wasn't a complete cure, and nor did I expect it to be. It was still rather tender, and any knock or sideways stress was uncomfortable, plus I could hear or feel the usual grating noises from around my sternum when making some simple moves. Those moves included just breathing, and definitely included a fast walk to the corner shop. I find it quite surprising how much my gait causes me to sway when walking. It's quite annoying on those rare occasions when I am trying to take some video while walking along, and a reason why I no longer attempt to do any videoing while on the move. That swaying motion also stirs up my rib cage, and while it doesn't actually hurt while it happens, it does leave my chest more tender.

  While a lot of this sounds very negative there were some very positive indicators. There were three main annoyances of the cold I had. All of them were almost gone yesterday. My nose rarely needed blowing. My tickly cough had gone, although I did need to cough up some mucus now and then. Perhaps the best thing was that I had stopped feeling so sweaty. After the one attempt to check my body temperature that showed my body temperature to be text book normal I didn't try again, but I am sure there were times when I was running a fever. Yesterday I hardly sweated at all - and that included after having a warm shower.

  I had great fears that I would be dripping with sweat when I walked to the station to go for my Thursday afternoon beer. I also had fears that I might feel Angina like chest pains when I walked to Catford station. I left home a little early so I could walk a bit slower when going to the station - I didn't ! I walked at very much my normal pace, and though I might have gained a light sheen of sweat on my forehead, I was not dripping like I feared I might. Plus I had no more chest pains than could be accounted for by my usual wonky rib cage pains. I arrived on the platform to wait for my train earlier than usual, and feeling not significantly worse than usual.

  I had a pleasant drink in the pub. I deliberately avoided the strong beer I had the week before even though it was very tempting, and just stuck to my normal three pints of moderate strength beer. If I had drunk just a tiny bit faster I could have fitted at least an extra half in before my train home was due, but I decided not to push my luck. There was no reason why I couldn't get a later train and drink even more apart for the simple fact that I deliberately went out without a coat. It did feel quite warm wearing a black t-shirt in the afternoon sunshine when I went to the pub, but I knew it would be close to dark when I left, and I did underestimate how cool it would feel on the way home.
the last bit of daylight on the horizon
  I had a 6 minute wait on the platform at Shortlands station for my train. As I waited I could see the last bit of daylight wink out on the western horizon. My journey home was in darkness. It was starting to feel a bit chilly as I waited for the train, and it didn't seem to be very warm on the train. Once I got to Catford I kept up a good pace as I walked home, and that helped me stay warm. Once indoors I felt warm enough, and strangely enough I didn't feel the need to turn any heating on until, I think, 4am this morning.

  I was very much looking forward to getting home for some dinner. My lunch had been reheated Singapore fried rice that was left over from my takeaway the night before. It was initially filling, but it always seems to leave you hungry after a while, and it was quite a long while before I could have dinner. The feeling of hunger was intensified by the beer ! My dinner was more leftover takeaway. Maybe "leftover" is not quite the right word because I had deliberately ordered excess specifically so I could enjoy it yesterday.

  For some reason that I don't understand I had ordered two lots of chicken chow mein. As I remember it I ordered just one, and something else, but the printed order said 2, and that is what I had last night - two lots of chow mein ! One of them needed a lot of pepper sauce to give a bit of variety. Even after eating the two I still felt hungry - blame the beer ! It was one of those times when the strong desire for a cigarette resurfaces. I didn't have one, but I did have a very large whisky.

  It was nice to go to bed some time later with dry skin. Even the pepper sauce, beer and whisky didn't make me sweat. I still felt cautious about how I slept last night, but I was feeling sort of good. I read for a while before turning onto my left side, and was soon fast asleep under the duvet - the first time I have been able to sleep under the duvet for a whole week or more. Everything seemed fine for at least 3 hours, but then I woke up. One of the first things I needed to do was to clear my throat. I gave a good couple of coughs and coughed up something unpleasant. Unfortunately I did this while still sitting up, and my body sort of twisted. That immediately made my rib cage complain.

  After that things went downhill. I got back to sleep, but an hour later I woke up, and found I was laying on my right side, and my rib cage felt particularly sore. Once again I also needed to clear my throat of some thick mucus, and I seemed to be coughing a lot. On top of all that I found it hard to get comfortable again under the duvet, and I turned the heating on so I could partly uncover myself.  I suspect I was asleep for no more than 50% of the time that I was in bed for the final 3 hours before I gave up and got up - which was admittedly fairly late.

  This morning it has taken some time to settle down, and then only partly. My rib cage feels very much on the edge. It feel like it would take little to take it over the edge, and yet the things that might do, might also do the opposite. On the plus side my nose is still essentially dry, and while I still occasionally cough up some mucus, the frequency of doing so is getting less and less. At the moment it feels like I have a hangover. My head is not exactly aching, but it does feel a bit fragile.

  At the moment I have one definite thing to do this morning, and one thing I would like to do tonight if I feel up to it (and of I judge that going out in the cold and damp night air won't be detrimental to me). This morning I have one small hand towel to wash. Yesterday afternoon, shortly before I went out, it had a very unhappy accident. It fell into the toilet ! I could do little more than put it in a bucket with some disinfectant until I could deal with it this morning.

  Once that little unpleasant task is done I have nothing to do until late this evening. Lord Algea, who make a very pleasant noise, are playing in The Mordern Arms - a pub that is in Greenwich, and not in Mordern as it's name might suggest. I've never seen a gig in this pub before, and I am curious. It is also in a location that should be safe from those few people who would spoil my evening if they were at the same pub. Whether I will actually go tonight, and whether I will find anything interesting or useful to do for all the hours today until the gig is in the lap of the Gods.
Thursday 18th October 2018
09:38 BST

  I could describe yesterday's weather as grim....and I think I will ! Not only was it very grey, but it was wet too. Admittedly there wasn't much rain, just a few showers, but while I can't remember the time, I am sure that one shower was in the afternoon when no revision of the forecast said there should be any. Apart from that it was 16° C, and I guess that wasn't that bad.
a bright cheerful start and finish
  Today has started off bright and cheerful, and apart from a dull couple of hours in the late afternoon, it should be bright and cheerful all day. Today's high is forecast to be 16° C, the same as yesterday, but it may only be 16° C for just one hour. Most of the afternoon will only be 15° C - so a bit cooler than yesterday - although it should feel warmer in the sunshine. Tomorrow should see a similar amount of sunshine, and the temperature may hit 17° C. It looks like we might have a short run of pleasant days for the rest of the week.

  I made the bold decision that my Amazon order would not be delivered before midday, and would likely be delivered around 3pm as past orders have been. In fact it it was just after 4pm, and it was lucky I didn't have to go out in the late afternoon. It did mean that I dared to go out to the local shops before midday. There was nothing I desperately wanted, but I did want to pick up a spare computer mouse. The Pound Shop have some that look cheap and nasty, but they do work, and I bought two of them to use in emergencies.

  I probably wanted to stretch my legs more than anything yesterday, but it wasn't a pleasant experience. I was feeling quite uncomfortable by the time I got home. One thing was a strong desire to use the toilet. I didn't think I had eaten that much the day before, and nothing that was particularly troublesome, and yet the amount of times I went in the morning suggests otherwise.

  The other discomfort suggested something far worse. It was unlike the Angina I had in 2013, but the discomfort from my chest seemed to be rather different to the wonky rib cage pains I get. My chest continued to give odd aches during the afternoon, but that did seem to be more posture related. Until my Amazon delivery finally arrived I was sitting at my computer, and often I would find myself slumping down in the chair. It didn't help that for a while I kept almost falling asleep. That wasn't good for my posture.

  My Amazon delivery contained three books and a packet of "chocolate block" as it is colloquially called. It is otherwise known as electrical connection strip, and got it's popular name because it was original made from a brown ceramic material. Modern stuff is made from a translucent plastic, and has been been for the last 40 or 50 years ! I wanted some to repair a desk lamp that had a broken switch.

  I repaired the lamp by shorting out the faulty internal switch (and removing it), and then extending the mains lead with some lead cut off another lamp that has an inline switch. That lamp now works perfectly. I also repaired my Sony electronic picture frame. I bought it from a charity shop, and it came without the power supply. I sourced a new power supply quite cheaply, and it worked for at least a year before the new power supply failed. For some reason Sony chose to use a rather uncommon power socket on the device, but by using a bit more "chocolate block" I was able to to connect the wires from another 12V supply to the lead from the failed supply that had the right power plug on it.

  While I worked away at cutting wires and connecting them with chocolate block (very routine stuff when I was at work) I was oblivious to any discomforts. Once I sat back and admired my handiwork I once again felt my chest mildly aching. It will of course be a major annoyance if it is some sort of heart problem, but there are still hints that it is just my rib cage playing up. One thing that doesn't help is that the closing stages of my recent cold is an occasional chesty cough.

  My nose has, to all intents and purposes, dried up now, and my throat no longer tickles, but every now and then I need to have a big powerful cough to bring up some mucus. It is quite infrequent, but it can aggravate my rib cage a bit - particularly if it needs several goes to clear my throat. Sod's law decrees that having written that my nose has dried up, I have just sneezed, and I had to blow my nose. Hardly anything came out, and I think it may have been the first time I have had to blow my nose since getting up, but that sneeze did jar my chest again !

  I didn't fancy cooking last night, and so I treated myself to a Chinese takeaway. I think I was inspired to do so by an item on the TV news. It was about how Just Eat, the takeaway delivery firm, list places that have failed food hygiene inspections. One of the things I always do is to check the "score on the door" rating of any place I order food from. Last night my Chinese takeaway came from a restaurant that scored a perfect 5 rating. It was tasty food too !

  I felt like an early night last night, but I was worried about aggravating my rib cage. I found that my ribs seemed perfectly comfortable if I slept on my right side even though it doesn't seem comfortable for other bits of me. I woke up quite a few times in the night, but I think I got quite a lot of sleep. I certainly had some vivid dreams...or maybe one dream in particular was very vivid, but it did show up some of my shortcomings.

  In this dream I was visiting a music shop with my old friend Jodie. I have no idea why we were visiting it, but what we discovered inside was a huge room for doing demonstrations and stuff. It was big enough to have a huge organ with three tiers of keyboards. I think it may have been electronic, but in some ways it did resemble a pipe organ. While we were in there a band arrived either to test some gear, or to do a rehearsal. They were some sort of prog rock band, and as well as one of them playing the huge organ, they had a laser show with moving holograms. It was all extremely dramatic and rather wonderful. The only let down was probably my imagination because a lot of it was silent because it seems I couldn't think up any music to go with it !

  This morning I managed a small lay in. In theory I should feel fine, but there were quite a few times when I had to cough up some deep mucus. Unfortunately some of those occasions was when I was still half laying in bed, and that rather undid some of the care I had taken to try to lay in positions that wouldn't stress my rib cage. So this morning my chest hurts, and once again it feels slightly different to the normal aches of my rib cage. I have one big test to do before considering whether it might be prudent to present myself to the hospital complaining of chest pains.

  As I am sure I have mentioned before, it would be a good way of setting the ball rolling in getting some possible treatment, or if nothing else, some sympathy, for my wonky rib cage. The few doctors I have mentioned it to at at the group practice have just dismissed my complaints saying stuff like "it's just soft tissue damage". Before I make any decision I want to see what happens when I do some laundry. If if is a heart problem it will probably make things worse. If not it often helps to pull my rib cage back into shape...or at least a less uncomfortable shape. If the laundry doesn't kill me than I should be OK to go to my regular later Thursday afternoon drink today !

 If I don't write anything tomorrow it will be because I end up in hospital today !
Wednesday 17th October 2018
08:41 BST

  I don't think yesterday was quite as nice as I was expecting, but it was still very good, and the sunshine, even though I was seeing it from indoors, was certainly very cheery. I heard mention on the TV forecast that only a few places actually hit 21° C, and that fits with my own observation that locally it may only have reached a little higher than 18° C.
a dull day
  It would appear that there is a small chance of rain at any time today even if no particular hour is marked as such on the forecast. I did note that the cars parked outside seemed to be dripping with condensation at first light, but that appears to have dried up now. The latest revision to the forecast has only changed the grey clouds to black clouds, but otherwise it has changed very little. The highest chance of rain will be sometime this morning. So today, at best is going to be exceedingly dull, and with a predicted high of just 16° C it is not going to be very warm (although I believe it is about average for this time of year). The latest revision of the forecast now shows that tomorrow may not be as glum as today. There could be sunny spells popping up all day, but the temperature is going to be generally a couple of degrees cooler than today. 

  The long rambling phone call from Lee delayed my long enough to make me think it wasn't worthwhile going out yesterday. By the time I had showered, and washed my hair, and allowed time for my hair to dry off a bit, it was gone midday. Maybe that was not a good enough reason by itself, but I was also not feeling all that good. However, later on I was to feel better, worse, and different in a hopeful sort of way.

Real time observation 09:10 - I've just drawn the curtains, and it is a lot lighter outside than the forecast predicted. We are very close to having a "sunny interval". Maybe today will not all be as depressing as the forecast predicts - just most of it maybe !

  Instead of going out I got a bit busy, and that seemed to wear me out. I decided it was time to change all the linen on my bed. For one thing it was getting smelly - at least I imagined it to be. It was also a good opportunity to straighten out the mattress protector that was getting rucked up. I also decided it change the winter duvet a summer duvet. There was one particular day, some 3, 4, 5 or even 6 weeks ago, when it was particularly cold, and I decided to change to my winter duvet. That seemed to be before I was using any heating in my bedroom. With the average temperature now lower I've been using the heater on a daily basis, and that has meant that it has been feeling far too hot under the winter duvet.

  Unfortunately I seem to have changed the winter duvet for an early spring duvet - not that such a designation actually exists. It is basically an old winter duvet that probably should have been thrown away because the filling has been laid on so much it is not as fluffy as it once was. It is still going to be rather hot to use, but having disturbed all the dust on the wardrobe to bring the storage box down, and then stuff it into the duvet cover, I didn't have the energy to do that twice to use the real summer duvet !

  Changing all the bed linen is fairly hard work - specially when trying to find a different duvet that wasn't in the dusty storage box on top of the wardrobe. So I had a bit of a rest before tackling another sweaty job - hand washing a few small towels and some other bits and pieces. You might think I was feeling a lot better to do these two jobs, and in a way I was, but I think some of it was just the joy that bright sunshine brings.

  I don't know how much the dust on the wardrobe had to do with it, but the symptoms of my cold changed a lot yesterday, and it was very noticeable in the evening. My nose stopped it's slow, but annoying dripping. Perhaps it was the dust but it felt very peppery in the evening. The inside of my nose was very itchy - it was almost stinging - and of course it started to pour with snot. At the same time my tickly cough went away, and I was just left with occasionally having to clear a frog in my throat.

 On the one had things were worse, and on the other hand things were better. There was also the effect of the sunshine earlier - probably. Despite the itching from inside my nose, and the need to frequently give it a good blow, it did seem to feel like I felt much better. Perhaps the proof of that is that I seemed to sleep better last night than I've slept for the previous 3 or 4 day. With one exception, it was close to an almost normal night's sleep. That one exception was that I had to be very careful how I laid down to avoid aggravating my tender rib cage. On the whole I managed that until my last hour in bed.

  I am still not over this cold, or whatever disease it is, but it may be getting close. I seem to notice an improvement in just the last hour. I don't seem to have coughed for some time now - I didn't not the time of the last time, but it could have been anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. I seem to have some new itchyness in my nose, but hasn't needed blowing for some time now either. One (probably) unrelated malady that I hope is improved is the stiffness in my right knee. It didn't slow me up in any way, but it did feel uncomfortable when I went down stairs earlier.

  My plans for today are constrained by waiting in for a parcel delivery of more books, plus a few odds and ends from Amazon. The tracking info says the parcel is coming from their Dartford depot, and past experience says it will arrive here early afternoon - perhaps between 2 and 3pm. There is one other book that is probably coming by Royal Mail, and that could come any time between today and next Monday. I hope not to miss when that is delivered, but at least if I do, and have to pick it up from the depot, it is within walking distance away (although I would probably be lazy and get a bus).

   Tonight I would like to go to the M.T. Pockets open mic at The Iron Horse in Sidcup. It will probably be cool but dry, and I can cope with that. Whether I will feel up to going out in the dark night to get a bus, and then a train, is an unknown at the moment, but it is something to aim for. 
Tuesday 16th October 2018
08:57 BST

  The forecast for yesterday changed several times, but some features seemed consistent across the various revisions. The forecast temperature said that the highest temperature would be 17° C, and that was about right. All revisions said it would be dull and overcast, and that was right too. The biggest variation was when and if it might rain. It's difficult to match reality with any variant of the forecast because some of the rain was probably so fine that it was difficult to see it from indoors. There was definitely some rain in the morning, but after that I only noticed that the ground appeared to stay wet for a lot of the day. It was not a nice day !
the welcome return of the sun
  Today we welcome the sun back even if it is for just one day. It is already sunny now in advance of when the forecast predicted it. The full sunshine may only last until the start of the afternoon, but sunny periods should continue after that. The temperature should reach a nice 21° C. Tomorrow will probably see a return to gloom, and the temperature is likely to be 3 or 4 degrees lower, but there is a possibility of some sunny intervals for a couple of hours mid morning.

  One of the most significant things I did yesterday was to go shopping in Tesco just after midday. I got my timing right. I felt a little fine rain on my face when I started out. It was the end of a light shower, and it fully stopped before I was halfway to Tesco, or after walking for about 3 minutes. It was dry when I walked back home with my shopping, but started raining very soon after I got indoors.

  Tesco is a weird place when it comes to prices. Many shops will reduce the price of sandwiches to half price when they need to be cleared as the are about to hit the "best before" date. Tesco's, or at least the Catford branch, sometimes only knocks a few 10s of pence off a sandwich. Then there is another extreme - promotional prices for booze. Yesterday the price of a 70cl bottle of Haig Club whisky was £25. If there was any logic in it you would expect the price of a 1 litre bottle to be a fair bit higher. Yesterday the price was £22 - £3 less for a bigger bottle ! Of course I bought one !!

  It took a minute of walking before the stiffness left my legs yesterday, and after that my shopping trip to Tesco was just about normal. I hardly coughed, and my nose seemed to stay dry. Walking home seemed close to normal too, but while I didn't feel any particular stress, it did feel good to have got home again with my shopping. Perhaps it was because I was anticipating some food. I started off with some (slightly) reduced price prawn sandwiches.

  I didn't eat all that many large portions yesterday. In fact the sandwiches, and an alleged low calorie chicken in mushroom sauce ready meal were the two largest portions I ate. A couple of times I was happy to nibble on a Marmite flavoured rice cake, although for the second one I decided that an extra layer of Marmite from the jar seemed needed to get the full Marmite flavour.

 I just remembered there was one large and unhealthy snack I ate yesterday. It was a large packet of sea salt and cider vinegar, Tesco own brand, crisps. If they hadn't been on promotion I probably wouldn't have bought them. They seemed considerably more greasy than other crisps. To add to the greasiness I ate then with a little tub of anchovies. They were not the smoked and salty anchovies as found on pizzas. They were more like anchovy sized sardines in a very light oil. I thought that they would go well with the crisps, but while they were very nice, they were less than wonderful.

  I didn't feel I had got over my cold yesterday, but it did feel like I was well on the way to recovery. I even felt good enough to manage a nice snooze in the afternoon. I may have been asleep for as long as an hour, and I woke up feeling fairly OK. That was really handy for later on in the night. During the early evening I sat quietly watching TV, and it was tempting to think I was over my cold. My nose was essentially dry, and it seemed like my cough had dwindled to almost nothing. Maybe it was some Ibuprofen I had taken earlier to calm down some discomfort from my ribcage that helped the other symptoms.

  I looked forward to an early night, and some good sleep when I went to bed fairly early. It wasn't to be ! I read in bed for a while before turning out the light. That was at, or before 9pm. It was probably unfortunate that by then I was starting to yawn, and that was making my eyes damp, and that was making my nose wet again. It may have been the action of blowing my nose that triggered my cough off again. Initially it wasn't bad, and it seemed I was OK to get relaxed in bed under my duvet.

  It felt like I should have fallen asleep, but sleep would not come ! After a while I became aware that my breathing sounded slightly ragged, a bit wheezy, almost asthmatic. I could have had a squirt from my precious asthma inhalor, but I decided to use some Vicks "Vaporub", and rub it on the top of my chest. It did seem to open up my airways a bit, but it also seemed to make my nose run twice as fast, and my throat to become very tickly. That was the start of a sleepless night. It didn't help that I managed to make my chest go clunk! once or twice while turning over in bed. That clunk! came from my sternum near the top of my operation scar. It was not painful in itself, but it does contribute to making my chest very sore.

  At 3am I poured myself a very large whisky, and perhaps that was instrumental in finally allowing me to get to sleep. So once again I got up a little while ago feeling very sleep deprived. Quite some time has passed since then thanks to another long rambling phone call from Lee. At the moment it feels like many of my cold symptoms have abated again - except for one. I've had the heating off for a couple of hours, and yet I feel sort of sticky. I would be tempted to open the window for some fresh air, but that would mean opening the curtains, and that would mean I ought to be dressed and decent - and I'm not !

  Apart from having a shower, and getting dressed as soon as I've finished writing, I have no definite plans for today. It is going to be another final warm and sunny day today, and I feel I ought to do something with it. One possibility I thought of was to go to Gravesend. I saw some snaps of the place recently, and it still retains some remnants of when it was once a sort of seaside resort. It even has some sort of pier. I'm not sure if it is publicly accessible, but I would like to investigate it. It's not that far past Dartford, and so the train fares should be quite cheap, and although there are no fast services to there (that I am aware of), it shouldn't take long to get there.

  Maybe I might feel up to going there today, but maybe I might do better marshalling my strength for a series of evening gigs starting tomorrow. Tomorrow night there is the M.T. Pockets open mic in Sidcup. On Thursday night I will probably forego my regular drink, and go to New Cross to see Estrangor play in The Amersham Arms, and on Friday I think Chain are playing in The Mitre in Greenwich......hmm, that can't be right because there are only gigs in The Mitre on Saturdays. Maybe it might be that I want to go to gigs on 4 consecutive nights. That will completely knacker me - assuming I am well enough in time to go to any of them !
Monday 15th October 2018
09:48 BST

  The forecast said it would rain non stop all day yesterday. It was pretty wet, but I don't think it was that wet ! An earlier revision of the forecast said there might be some sunny spells and thundery showers from 9 to 11am. A later revision of the forecast removed that prediction and just substituted drizzle. There may not have been any full hour without at least some amount of rain, but there definitely were some periods when no rain fell. Unfortunately none of them included the merest hint of sunshine. The maximum temperature was the forecast 17° C until mid afternoon when it slowly dropped.
another dull and damp day
  Today looks like it is going to be another dull and damp day. The latest revision of the forecast suggests that the rain is over for the rest of the day, and it does look like it has stopped raining now, although it still looks very damp outside. Once again the forecast gives no hope of any sunshine today, but the temperature should rise from 13° C this morning to 17° C for a couple of hours towards the end of this afternoon. If we are very lucky the sun will re-appear tomorrow, and the temperature could rise to 21° C. The day after will probably be back to gloom and doom...although possibly not wet doom and gloom !

  In some respects I felt better yesterday, but it was probably only because I was trying to avoid anything that might make me feel worse. There was one improvement, and that was that my nose almost stopped dripping. For much of the time it did stop dripping. There was no improvement in the dry tickly cough that was a more annoying feature. It did come and go a lot. There were periods of time, probably never longer than 15 to 20 minutes, when I hardly coughed at all. Even so, I was still coughing enough to keep my chest/rib cage sore.

  It was interesting when I went out briefly to the corner shop. When I first hot the fresh air it made the tickle in my throat worse, but by the time I reached the corner shop I had almost stopped coughing, and I don't think I coughed at all as I walked back. Perhaps the more interesting thing was that the rest of my body seemed to be in good working order. It is only a 2 minute walk to the corner shop, and so it is no indication of what a longer walk might have felt like, but for that 2 minutes there, and perhaps even more walking back again, it felt like I could walk as fast as I liked with no ill effect, no aches, and no pains.

  Going to the corner shop was the only time I went out yesterday, and I was lucky that it wasn't raining for that short outing. Soon after getting home again it started to pour down ! With two new magazines to read it didn't feel like I had any reason to go out. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to not feel a bit of boredom entering into my day yesterday. I did very little except read and do some occasional stuff on my PC.

  I didn't really even do any cooking. At lunchtime I had a bowl of tomato soup with some diced up Polish smoked ham in it. It was not as nice as I hoped. So It then used the rest of the pack of smoked ham "cooked" in baked beans with some diced strong Cheddar cheese added as an afterthought after I took it out of the microwave. That was nicer, but I think my cold might have been playing tricks on my taste buds despite my nose being mostly clear, and I didn't enjoy it as I thought I might. Just two bowls of food seemed to make me feel slightly bloated, and so I didn't have an evening meal - just some nibbles.

  During the evening I started taking assorted cough mixtures, and they did seem to give some short lived relief. Sometime after 10pm I thought I might be able to get to sleep OK between coughs, and I think I might have, but I am not sure. At 10 minutes before midnight I was awoken, if indeed I was asleep, from sleep by a phone call from my friend Lee. He was drunk, and in pain following a fall that might have fractured his wrist. I don't think he had any idea what the time was. Later in his long rambling call he said he ought to have his Sunday dinner with his parents. I had to remind home that it was gone 1am at the point, and that his parents had probably gone to bed hours ago.

  I found it strange that I coughed very little during that phone call, but as soon as it finished, and I tried to get back to sleep I could not stop coughing. In the end I turned the light on, and tried to relax by reading for a while. That sort of worked, and I fell into some very poor sleep. I woke up at 5am, and then again at 7am. I thought that might be the only sleep I was going to get, but after going to the toilet, and taking my morning medication, I was quite surprised to find that I had fallen asleep again, and that it was just after 9am !

  So far this morning I have done very little apart from talking to Lee again. It was obvious that he remembered very little about last night because he repeated virtually everything he said last night ! It is now gone 11am, and I needed to decide if I am doing much today. I still don't feel that wonderful, but in the past I may have ventured into work feeling this bad. I think if it was not for the lingering tickly cough I would probably be feeling almost OK. Of course the dull leaden sky, and the dampness outside does very little to inspire me to do anything.

  I think I ought to experiment with a little bit more fresh air today. I would like to not eat much today, but I fancy going into Tesco if I am not coughing too much. I have this zany idea that I might like some rice cakes to spread Marmite on. Other than popping out for shopping I have little else to do today apart from somehow trying to shake off the last of this cold. My cough seems to have changed from dry and tickly to a bit less than dry. Whether that is a good or bad sign I have no idea. All I knw is that from mid week there are a couple of things I hope I am feeling well enough to do. There is the M.T. Pockets open mic in Sidcup on Wednesday night. On Thursday I should be drinking with the usual Thursday night drinkers, but I think I want to go to a gig, or at least a quarter of a gig. Then on Friday there is a gig in The Mitre, in Greenwich that I want to go to. It is possible, but far from certain, that I might go from being very inactive to bloody busy in the space of 48 hours !
Sunday 14th October 2018
09:51 BST

  There is every possibility that yesterday may have seen the last decent weather until late next spring. The temperature peaked at 24° C, and there was more sunshine that the forecast seemed to predict. Sometime it was just the forecast sunny spells, but a lot of the time the sunshine seemed continuous, and it all lasted for all the hours of daylight.
a terrible day
  The forecast says it is going to be a terrible day today. The latest revision doesn't show the thundery showers as predicted earlier, but it still shows rain from dawn to dusk, and well beyond them - except for right now, and it does seem that the rain has stopped for a moment as I write this. Unfortunately the latest revision predicts that the highest temperature will only be 16° C, and that will only last until 11am. After that the temperature will slowly drop. By 6pm it may only be 13° C. Tomorrow might be as wet as today, although the chances of rain are a few % lower most of the time, and the rain might be lighter. It may be a little less cool with the temperature reaching 17° C by 2pm, but in the wet and greyness that might be irrelevant.

  I felt unwell again yesterday, but the symptoms had changed. There was still a few mild symptoms of my food poisoning, but they were of no great consequence - a very slight tenderness was probably the most obvious, and that fluctuated between hardly there, and not really there at all during the morning, and had all but gone by the afternoon. The other thing was a slight reluctance to eat for a lot of the day. That was probably a good thing, and I think I can thank my sub-concious for it.

  What I seemed to develop yesterday was more or less just the common cold, but not quite. During the afternoon my nose dripped a lot, and than it just seemed to stop apart from a very occasional drip. I'm not sure when it started, but I also developed a tickly cough, and that is still going this morning. It is annoying, but is a pale shadow of the sort of coughs I got when I was smoking 40 -50 fags a day.  In some respects the more bothersome thing was a cold fever. It was unually warm yesterday, and maybe my body had acclimatised to the cooler weather that is more typical at this time of year, but that still doesn't seem to be good reason why I was often pouring with sweat. I decided to check my temperature during one episode when my face and chest was dripping with sweat, and yet I was feeling almost chilly. It was almost perfectly normal - just 0.2° C off textbook normal. That is actually slightly high for me. My temperature is often a bit lower than textbook, but it was still far from feverish.
textbook perfect
  I didn't fancy doing anything yesterday apart from trying to get well again. That was a shame because I wanted to try and spend at least a bit of time in the sun. I contemplated doing some garden clearance. That shouldn't have impacted much on just a cold, but I was also still getting discomfort from my rib cage. One interesting observation was that it seemed I could feel a sort of lump to the left of my operation scar. It was high up on my chest, and recently most of the pain I have had has been very high up my chest. It would be close to consistent to my theory that the doctors refuse to believe, and that was that I did some damage to my slowly healing sternum soon after I was discharged from hospital by carrying 10 times more than my heart surgeon suggested.

  That pain comes and goes. Sometimes it feels like a heart attack, but that would be a little more central across my chest, not just a couple of inches below my chin. A curious fact is that it s made worse by going downstairs. I think it is a combination of the posture used to go down stairs, and the mechanical vibration of each step downwards. That is not a new discovery, but what is new is how much it is aggravated by my cough. Once again it is the mechanical shock as I cough that make it hurt, or hurt more. I probably ought to try some cough mixture.

  I was quite surprised how boring Saturday night TV was last night. To my horror I actually watched some news to pass the time. What a sorry state the world is in, but then again it has probably always been like this. One notable news item is that fracking has been given the go ahead at one site, and would have started yesterday if it had not been for some of the extreme weather that the north has experienced (and is coming this way). I know of some people who are greatly angered by the idea of fracking. They fear the worst possible outcomes, but I think they are being fed with wild theories. It will be interesting to see what the reality is, and if all the protests were worthwhile.

  I gave up on TV quite early last night, and spent most of the rest of the evening just reading. One thing I did do before turning in was to do a little research. It seems Sue went to a gig in Bromley last night. It was a gig by The Thunderboltz that I would not naturally go to. rock 'n' roll is OK in small doses, but not a whole evening ! I would have gone to see Chain in The Elm Tree, Elmers End, if I had gone out. I'm glad I didn't because I learned there were two people there that I try to avoid. One of the was Nigel. I particularly didn't want to see him ! I was surprised that he hadn't followed Sue, but it seems Sue wouldn't say where she was going until she had actually arrived, and maybe Nigel just didn't know where to go. If I had known that the two were going to be at different gigs, and if I hadn't been feeling crap, I might have gone to he same gig as Sue to see what reception I got. I'm sure we will eventually bump into each other somewhere.

  I was dripping with sweat when I went to bed last night, and I had to towel myself down before getting in to bed - and keep the towel handy. In fact I didn't get into bed. I threw the duvet aside, and just slept on to of the bed. I fell asleep much quicker than expected, and I mostly seemed to sleep OK in two halves until 4am when I had trouble trying to work out if I was hot or cold. By then the outside temperature had fallen a lot, but I don't think my bedroom had cooled down that much. I think I eventually got back to sleep with one leg under the duvet, but my sleep was very intermittent until I sort of gave up around 7am.

  This morning it is only the cough that is particularly bothersome. I've had a few twinges from different bits of my rib cage, but if I try and adopt a good posture my chest is not giving me any trouble. I feel a walk in the fresh air would be good for me, but I find it hard to motivate myself to venture out into the gloom and wet. I definitely want to go to the corner shop to buy some Diet Coke and a magazine, and that might be the extent of my walk in the fresh air. On the other hand, if the weather stays like it is right now once I am washed and dressed, I could contemplate going further. It is far from bright, but it is brighter, and it looks like the rain has held off for long enough for the paths to be drying out. It's not great, but at least it is currently not terrible. Now if only it can last a few more hours....
Saturday 13th October 2018
09:43 BST

  The rain that was threatened for 10 and 11am never fell yesterday, but it was quite cloudy after a fairly bright morning. A little later the cloud broke up enough for more sunny intervals. The last few hours of daylight were lightly overcast - or at least I don't recall it being very dim, and I don't recall seeing any sunshine. The temperature probably did hit the forecast 21° C by early afternoon, and it only fell a few degrees by this morning.
is today the last reasonable day before
                      winter ?
  Today looks like it might be the very last reasonable day before winter ! The morning started as warm as yesterday peaked at, 21° C, and there is only a smattering of clouds in the sky. By early afternoon the temperature is supposed to reach 24° C, and there should be sunny intervals through all the hours of daylight. The temperature may only drop to 18° C tonight, but tomorrow could be a very different day. At 6am the temperature could be a fair 17° C, but through the day the temperature will slowly fall to just 11° C by midnight. There could be some sunshine in the morning, but there could also be some thundery showers. There could be rain every hour of tomorrow !

  I didn't feel good yesterday morning. One of the first things I did was to throw away the jar of tartare sauce that I believe was the source of my food poisoning. While I only had the one double episode of throwing up at half past midnight (two sessions separated by little more than 90 seconds), my guts still felt very tender for most of yesterday morning, and a little into the afternoon. Even by mid afternoon I was doing farts that were so foul that they started the wallpaper peeling.

  I'm not sure the exact time, but maybe it was around 3pm, I decided that I must be completely empty. I know I was feeling rather hungry after having nothing but iced tap water - which I continued to drink until the evening. I decided I wanted something to eat, and something I could be sure I would enjoy so I would have a definite satisfaction of eating it even if it came up again later (when I definitely wouldn't enjoy it !). I looked in the back of the cupboard and found some forbidden chocolate fingers. I threw caution and good sense to the wind, and ate a pile of them. They were so good, and caused no problems, that I ate the rest of the packet by the end of the afternoon !

 I spent most of yesterday just laying on my bed, or sitting in front of my PC. After losing a fair amount of sleep during the night, I thought I would be able to sleep a lot yesterday, but I don't think I got more than a few minutes - if that ! There was one thing I did in the afternoon that I did with some reluctance. It was to finish washing some t-shirts and underwear. I had put them in to soak the previous day, and had some insane idea I might finish washing them when I came back from the pub. That was a stupid idea made even more stupid by getting drunk !

  It was probably a good idea to pour some disinfectant into that tub of laundry in the morning to stop it getting smelly - at least I hope it did that, and those t-shirts won't start growing smelly bacteria when they next get damp. By mid afternoon yesterday I thought that I couldn't leave the laundry soaking any longer, and I decided to grit my teeth, and finish the job. It was good that I did because I actually felt better after finishing it. It definitely help pull my wonky rib cage back into alignment, and reduced that discomfort, and I think it might have slightly reduced the tenderness of my belly, although I have no idea how.

  By early evening I decided it should be OK to start eating again if I took care. Maybe care flew out the window when I chose to eat an alleged low calorie chicken chow mein, and then put hot pepper sauce on it. I didn't get any negative reaction to it, and so later on I temped fate again by having some ham with English mustard on it. Later still I had some dry roasted peanuts as a snack while watching a bit of TV.

  The last thing I watched on TV, Have I Got News For You, finished at 9.30pm. By 10.30pm I was in bed, and asleep - I think. Something like 2 hours later I woke up again for no special reason (although I did go for a pee). I seemed to wake up so gently that it felt like I hadn't been asleep. Initially that annoyed me, but then I remembered some snatches of dreams. They were so weird that I realised that I must have been asleep. Daydreams can be entertaining, but never as weird as real dreams.

  I was soon fast asleep again, and while I woke a couple more times in the night, it felt like I had slept well last night. Although that doesn't explain why it feels like I could easily go back to bed soon. Experience shows that I would be unlikely to sleep if I did. I think I will rely on a good shower to wake me up. I certainly need one. I felt too rough to have one yesterday, and by the evening even I knew that I was stinking !

  I don't know what I am doing today, but I do know it s going to be a nice day weather wise, and I ought to do something with it. Yesterday, in a moment of delirium, I considered the possibility of going all the way to Felixstow. It would be a very long journey, and I don't think I dare do that until I am sure that I am in reasonable working condition. Maybe it will be on my bucket list for a warm spring day next year. So at this point in time I have no idea what I will do for most of today. This evening I might drop into the dreaded Elm Tree pub in Elmers End where Chain are playing. Apart from hating the pub, it is easy to get to. There is also the problem that it is a likely gig for people I want to avoid to go to. It could be an in and out job !
Friday 12th October 2018
09:15 BST

  Yesterday turned out better than forecast - but possibly only because I managed to dodge the rain that was forecast to spoil the end of an otherwise nice day. On reflection a lot of the forecast for yesterday was wrong. The morning was a lot cloudier than predicted, and the forecast sunshine was mostly just sunny periods. The sky did clear as afternoon approached, and then more clouds appeared. They should have produced 5 hours of light rain from late afternoon until mid evening, but the rain was actually very sporadic. There were just occasional showers, although I think they went on later into the night that predicted. The highest temperature was probably a little less than the 21° C forecast, but still nice.
a mostly grey day
  Today might be quite a warm day, with the temperature reaching 21° C by 2pm, and then not falling below 19° C even by 3am tomorrow morning. It might not be a "nice" day though. It has been bright for much of the morning, and in fact the sun was shining until a few minutes ago. The latest revision of the forecast predicts light rain for 10 and 11am this morning. It doesn't look cloudy enough for that yet, but maybe the cloud is starting to thicken. There might be some sunny periods after the rain, but the rest of the day looks like it could be depressingly grey. Tomorrow could be quite warm. Maybe as high as 23° C, and with some sunny intervals, but after tomorrow it looks like autumn has got it's grip on the weather for the foreseeable future.

  Yesterday was mostly a good day, but it ended in disaster ! There was only three significant things worth reporting about yesterday. The first was to go shopping in Tesco. I seemed to buy quite a lot, but somehow it all came to under £30, and for the first time in ages I was able to pay using the contactless feature of my debit card. I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to buy some thing nice to lure me straight home after the pub without going via the fried chicken shop. It turned out to be fish and chips, but for reasons I'll come to soon, getting fried chicken might have been a better idea.

  While I wasn't out shopping I was building up my next mp3 file playlist. The first, that I have had on continuous rotation for the last couple of years, contains over 2000 songs, and when played randomly is seldom boring, but I feel a fresh playlist would be a better idea. I think I am up to 366 songs so far. The slowest thing is editing the id3 tags to remove worthless information, and occasionally to add information. In some instance it is to correct some information such as misspelled artist names or song titles.

  Just before 4pm it was time to go out and get my train to Shortlands. What I presume to be side effects of Monday's 'flu jab seemed worse when I walked to the station compared to when I went to Tesco. It really felt like I had real, or close to real, 'flu. My legs seemed to ache, and on two occasions it felt like my left leg was going to give way somehow. My head felt very weird too. Sometimes it felt sort of "floaty", but in a completely different way to dizzy or light headed. Despite these afflictions it didn't seem too hard to get to the pub where interesting beers awaited for me !
two beers
  I had a pint of Tonbridge "Rustic" when I first arrived. At 4% it was not very strong, but it tasted quite nice. It was because I was feeling sort of rough that I decided I needed "medicine", and at 6.5% Chockwork Orange was the perfect solution. I ended up having 3 pints of it, and ended up feeling quite good. I was obviously drunk, but not as drunk as I expected. The walk to the station seemed very straightforward, and I felt incredibly sober compared to the bloke was was sparko on the stairs of the station. He was being looked after by a couple of British Transport Policemen (who have rooms in the station) while they waited for an ambulance.

  Walking from the station to home felt much easier, with far less discomfort than walking to it earlier. As soon as I got in I set about getting my dinner cooked. I had opted to some battered cod that I needed to cook in the oven. It took about 20 minutes before it was just done, but some of it I left another 10 minutes or so to get the batter really crisp. I accompanied that fish with some microwave chips. They are not great, but just about acceptable. On the first lot of fish I spooned on some tartare sauce. I was a little worried about it because it had last been opened maybe months ago, and hadn't been refrigerated. It looked OK - there was no green mould on it or anything - and it seemed to smell OK according to my drunken nose, but I don't think it was.

  After eating my dinner I felt a little odd. I thought it was maybe a combination of eating a bit too much, plus the after effects of drinking strong beer. At about half past midnight this morning I concluded that I was most probably suffering from food poisoning !  I thought that a lot of farting, and a large poo may have relieved the pressure, but it didn't. At half past midnight I was "yodelling down the big white telephone", and when I thought I was completely empty I found I wasn't as I deposited a another pint or two down the handbasin. Fortunately it was mostly liquid, but I did have the unpleasant task of poking a few solid bits through the plughole !

  Even after that I felt quite volatile, and it was hard to sleep. I had to get up several times in the night to visit the toilet. Most were just to have a wee, but some were for more - although fortunately no more vomit even if it felt like I might vomit again. I know I got some sleep last night - some of the strange dreams were testament to that - but I still feel knackered today. Many of the dreams were based on one theme, and while the story line was quite disjointed, they were based on the idea that I had gone back to work at my second employers new premises. Many of the old people were there, but the procedures all seemed different, and I had been tasked to repair HiFi (as some of the audio equipment the company sold was ludicrously called). HiFi was not my speciality - mainly because I used to find some of the mechanics of things like multi CD changers was frightening in it's complexity. I found my first day back at work to be both frustrating, and very unproductive.

  Fortunately it was all a string of short dreams on a common theme, and today, and for the rest of my future, I don't have to go to work - which is just as well because I feel awful ! It is just as well that I didn't have any plans for today. I think the main two things I do today will be to sit quietly at my computer occasionally doing something productive, but maybe more like consuming others works, and to try and snooze as much as possible. I fear another pastime may be visiting the toilet. Nothing has happened since getting up, but I can still feel the odd twitch or spasm from deep in my guts. This morning I think I will be mainly consuming water. Later on I may try some soup. If that seems OK I will probably be OK for something more solid this evening. It doesn't sound a very exciting day, but even sleep can be exciting if you think positively about it....I think !
Thursday 11th October 2018
08:58 BST

  Like the day before, Yesterday was bright and sunny, and warm. There was lots of blue sky, and just the occasional fluffy cloud floating by. The predicted high was 22° C, and I definitely saw 19° C on my permanently shaded thermometers outside the back door on the north side of the house.
                      good, ends wet
  Today has started fairly nice, although maybe not as nice as the forecast predicted. There are a few heavy looking clouds in the sky, mostly to the north, and we have only had sunny periods instead of non stop sunshine. I think that may well be the case for the next few hours despite what the forecast might say. From about 4pm rain is forecast. It may only be light rain, but it still comes at a very inconvenient time for me. This morning has started off quite mild, and by this afternoon the temperature is supposed to reach 21° C.. It should be another mild night tonight. Tomorrow may reach 21° C again, but maybe only briefly. There is a very small chance of rain tomorrow with the biggest, but still small chance in the morning. There should be sunny intervals all day, but probably no very long spells of sunshine.

  Yesterday saw my chest/ribcage aches and pains subside a lot. My chest still felt a bit tender, but mostly gave no trouble. I concluded, rightly or wrongly, that what had been just a normal sporadic flare up was made worse by the 'flu jab I had on Monday. At first it didn't seem that jab had caused any bad effects, but it seems it just took a bit longer than previous years. In the end I noticed typical mild 'flu symptoms such as joints and muscles mildly aching, and with hindsight it was obvious that it would amplify the aches and pains I get from my wonky ribcage.

  I hope that 'flu jab does provide protection against this winters 'flu strain. It isn't always easy to balance the pros and cons of the 'flu jab. If it does protect against the misery of a fully fledged attack of 'flu than it is a very good thing, and the day or two of usually very mild symptoms is a small price to pay. Even the one time when it gave me a day of half strength 'flu symptoms, which needed a day off work, it was still probably worth it. The difficulty is that there is no way to know if you would have been laid low with 'flu if you didn't have the jab. Another slightly unusual effect this year is that I noticed that the site of the injection was quite sore about 36 hours after the injection. Maybe I just didn't notice it earlier because I had other pains to worry about. One other unusual thing is that the injection seems to have left a little red dot on my arm. I don't think that has happened before. Maybe I shall blame it on the pharmacist being not as well practiced as the nurses. His injection was definitely a bit more painful than the nurses best efforts.

  I was still feeling uncomfortable yesterday morning, and so I decided not to go out - at least not to go very far. I had still intended to go for a walk to the shops, or in the park, but I think I got too relaxed for that. I certainly didn't try and do any garden clearance, but I did do something almost as hard. I washed a large bath towel. Manhandling, and wringing that out by hand took a lot of hard work, and raised a sweat, but the extra work my heart had to do didn't cause any problems. In fact it was the other way around. As has happened in the past, all that lifting of the very heavy wet towel, and wringing it out, seemed to pull my ribcage back to a more favourable setting which seemed far more comfortable.

  That bit of hand laundry was the only physical thing I did yesterday. The other work I did was just on my PC, and took hours. It was to go through hundreds of songs, ripped as mp3 files, and editing their id3 metadata tags. In reality it was a pointless exercise that had it's roots in a project I was considering while I was at work. Having got fed up with most legal streamed radio, and at the time the prospect of a sort of pirate internet station I used to listen to at work closing down, I decided I ought to start my own private radio station.

  One thing I wanted to do was to have the correct titles being displayed for the tracks that were playing, and to do that all the id3 tags needed to be correct - and perhaps more importantly, consistent. So as I added more and more tracks to the playlist I would edit their id3 tags. In the end I ended up with a folder containing over 2000 songs ready to broadcast over the internet. Then I realised that I may as well just put them on a memory stick and play them at work off that. So the idea of streaming them onto the internet fell by the wayside.

  Well over a year later I still use those 2000 plus tracks as my main listening source. In theory it can take a couple of days before a song repeats. After all this time I decided that I ought to make a "psuedo radio 2" folder as an alternative. So I have been collecting songs together again, and editing their id3 tags to be consistent. At the moment I have 366 songs in the playlist, and because they include some longer prog rock tracks, it should take 25 hours to play the entire list. I hope to increase it to 2000 songs in the end - and then I'll work on "Pseudo radio 3" !

  Yesterday I looked in the fridge and considered what to have for dinner. There was not a lot in there, and what there was didn't feel very exciting. So I ordered a naughty Chinese takeaway. It was very nice, very satisfying, and all that salt and sugar has probably halved my life expectancy, but what's the point of life if you can't enjoy it. I think the best individual dish was chopped spare ribs with salt and chilli. I didn't notice the salt, but the chillies did give it a nice, but not powerful kick. Maybe I was feeling a bit full, but the chow mien did not seem very good. I picked out the chunks of meat, and then left over half the noodles.

  I was in bed nice and early last night. It seems I have reverted back to early nights like when I was at work, and with it getting dark so early now, it is going to be a major upheaval to get out to gigs again. I assume I will start going to gig again, although when I sit back and look at what's on offer I find that I don't feel very excited about the majority of the gigs. There are very few, or maybe none that I would consider travelling far to see, but there are a couple coming up that are not too far away, and could be worth trying to get to. I'm not sure that there is anything this weekend that will get me out, but I'll have another look at the listings again to see what's on.

  I can't make up my mind if I slept well or not. Some of it was good sleep, or so I believe. I certainly wasn't kept awake by chest pains, and wondering if I ought to go to the hospital. There was one short period of time that I was kept awake by another thing. It was a thing that happens sporadically, maybe once a month, maybe every two months, and it is as mysterious as it is annoying. It is an itch on the sole of my foot. It was the right foot last night, and maybe it has only happened to the right foot a few times in the past, but I can't remember that much detail. I have no idea what causes the itch. It is like the result of a tiny cut or similar injury, but there is nothing I can see. It is possible it is nerve damage caused by excess blood glucose, and if it is it could be a sign of far worse things to come in the indefinite future.

  This morning my neck, and right shoulder were a bit stiff and sore when I first got up, but they seem to have settled down fairly quickly. My chest still feels a bit tender, and under some circumstances I get a sort of tight feeling across the very top of my chest, almost directly under my chin. It is a bit weird, but nothing that unusual. I probably do really need to do a bit of walking today to settle everything down. I need to do a bit of shopping so I have something exciting to come home to after my late afternoon exercise - going out for my Thursday drink with the lads.
view from the
                          bathroom window at 8.20am
This was the view from my bathroom window at 8.20am. It looks a bit grim. It was a different picture out the front of the house, looking south instead of north. To the south there was lots of blue areas of sky, and the sun was shining, although maybe it was not shining at precisely the same time I took this picture. An hour later and over half the sky was looking blue through the bathroom window. Despite the forecast saying sunshine for this morning, the reality is definitely just sunny periods, or spells, or intervals. Who knows what they are, but they are very cheerful !
Wednesday 10th October 2018
07:56 BST

  Yesterday's weather was brilliant. The sun was shining almost all the hours of daylight, and it felt very warm when sitting in direct sunlight. The temperature probably reached the forecast 20° C for a short while in the mid afternoon, but my thermometers in the permanent shade on the northern side of the house were very slow to catch up with the temperature on the sunny side. They said it was just 15° C when I came in feeling a bit warm because I had been walking, and a lot warmer because I had been walking in the sunshine. It definitely felt like it was close to 20° C on the sunny side of the street. With barely a cloud in the sky it was obviously dry all day !
almost as
                      good as yesterday
  Today promises to be better than yesterday. If it happens as forecast, we should see the temperature climb to 22° C. The only flaw might be at 4pm when a few clouds may block the sun now and then. Of course that is taking the forecast too literally, and sods law says the forecast will be revised soon, and the new version may not be quite as good as the one in the screenshot above. Tomorrow may start dull, but there should be sunny intervals from a few hours after daybreak until almost the end of the day. The temperature will probably hit 21° C, but from 5pm there could be showers that will continue into the evening.

  Yesterday was both exceptionally good, and also a bit bad. The exceptionally good was that Angela accepted my invitation to meet in the park at lunchtime. It was wonderful to see her on her own, and it was lovely to sit in the hot sunshine with her. She enjoyed seeing me as well. She also liked my gifts - almost. As well as returning her expensive electric toothbrush that she had left here after the days when she would almost spend the night with me, I gave her some photos I had printed out, and put in cheap frames for her.

  Two of them were of her daughter Miranda singing with Life Of Brian. She liked one of them, but she really like the other, and said it was going straight on the wall. Another photo was one I took of her standing under an umbrella outside her workplace last spring. At the time she said she liked it, and she does look very desirable in it, but now she is not so sure she likes it. I think that is because it may be difficult for her to explain how I managed to take it to lover boy. It was, of course, taken one day when we were secretly meeting most days of the week.

  It may be that Angela has no need to explain that photo. She has decided that she will say that she met me briefly yesterday to receive the photos, and to soften the blow, and as a distraction, there was one more photo that I had to grit my teeth to even look at, let alone print. It is of lover boy himself at his drum kit. Being a drummer, or currently a drummer on hold while he has a heart problem fixed, he was usually at the back, and poorly lit, but I managed to find one picture of him that was usable.

  In some ways it felt like time had stood still when I was with Angela in the park, but there was a reluctance to get too close and special friendly, and I don't think it was just me who was like that. Angela went to great pains to say how happy she was to be with lover boy, but it was like she had to force the words out. There was definitely some hesitation, and one explanation was that she was trying to convince herself more than me. The alternate explanation was that she was just stepping carefully over a subject that was not nice for me. In truth it was probably a bit of both.

  When the time came for Angela to get back to work I walked with her to her workplace. Outside we said our goodbyes, and I said we must do this again next spring, and maybe we will, or maybe there could be some excuse to meet before then. Maybe a pre-Xmas drink might be a good excuse. I couldn't let Angela go without a hug, and I hope we both enjoyed the 3 or 4 seconds in each other arms, plus a kiss on the cheek.

 I walked home via the Poundshop after that. As usual I went in for just a few things, and came out with much more. The much more included some very naught yoghurt coated peanuts. That yoghurt coating is full of sugar, at least I presume it is, and I currently try to avoid concentrated sources of sugar. I think I am going to use them as a scape goat for something that had already starting to happen much earlier.

 That something was my rib cage playing up. It was slightly sore when I got up. It seemed to get better when I had a warm shower, and then got a lot worse when I put a t-shirt on. It was just the action of raising my left arm, and twisting it about as I threaded that arm through the short sleeve of a t-shirt. It triggered a well known pain just above my left man nipple. It is a sort of burning sensation. As I walked to the park I could feel my ribcage moving with a sort of clicking and grinding sensation. These are all precursors of trouble to come. The first bit of trouble was when I did a sharp right turn in the park. As I did so I felt stabbing pains down some of my right side. I got a lovely picture though !
blue sky and warm
  The sky was blue. The grass was green, and so were some of the trees, but some trees were showing their autumn colours. There is nothing in the picture to give a clue as to how warm it was. You'll have to imagine that yourself.

  Apart from those individual distinct pains, which were mainly short lived, and the annoying but painless clicks and pops, I arrived home with my chest feeling delicate, but mostly OK. It wasn't long  before I ate those yoghurt coated peanuts that I mentioned earlier. They were a poor, and probably ill advised substitute for breakfast and/or lunch. After eating them I laid on my bed to read for a bit, and after a while, to have a snooze. I woke up with my chest feeling very sore. It was sore enough to wonder if it was something more than the usual, but not sore enough to be a heart attack....or so I hoped.

  Some pain killers, and possibly more appropriately, some antacid/indigestion tablets reduced the discomfort to a minimum, but I was still aware of some tenderness for almost the rest of the day. I avoided doing anything that might aggravate the problem except for sitting quietly at my PC and laying on my bed. Unlike the Angina I had in 2013, and which was definitely a heart problem that only reared it's ugly head when I did any excercise, my chest/ribcage pains tend to be worse when resting, and apart from odd pains caused by twisting movement, or similar, usually go away when doing exercise.

  I spent quite a lot of time photo editing yesterday afternoon, and into the evening. It can be hard mental work, but otherwise the only energy expended is to move the mouse on my PC. Sometimes I would get some discomfort that had to be relieved by having a stretch, or walking a couple of paces. It is a posture problem, or so it seems. The pictures I was going through were the pictures I had taken on Monday when nI went out exploring north London's railways.
approaching Silver
                          Street station
This picture was taken at Silver Street station, and shows a train apparently climbing a steep hill before entering the station. In fact it is just going up a gentle slope, but the zoom lens foreshortens the view. There were a few occasions when the sun came out, and there was enough light to set the zoom to full (x36 on the Nikon P500 camera I was using). The light needed to be strong so that the shutter speed could be high enough to avoid the effect of camera shake - which could be severe at this magnification.
TFL train in Elizabeth Line livery
This picture taken at Romford shows one of the new class 345 trains in Elisabeth Line livery. These trains are currently branded TFL-Rail, but are the stock that will be used once crossrail is complete, and will start to run end to end at The Elizabeth line. The existing track from Stratford to Shenfield will become part of the line.
Angel Road station
   One final picture for today. This is the view from the footbridge, and shows almost all there is of Angel Road station. There are no building, apart from the very small bus shelter type shelter halfway down platform 1 on the left. Behind the trees on the left there is a busy road whose noise is only partly attenuated by the trees. At the far end of the platform there is a bridge that seems to carry very noisy motorway type traffic. To the right is a scrap metal depot that was mercifully quiet when I was there. Behind me there is another concrete road bridge which also seems to carry a lot of traffic.

  Angel Road station is like an island surrounded by a sea of madness. The exit to the road, which is on the road bridge that is behind me in the picture above, is via long narrow alley, and a flight of steps that twist and turn as the go under the road bridge, and come out on the far side of the road. It is no surprise that the station gets few users, and that number is made worse by the fact that the train service there is abysmal - there are no trains from about 10am to 4pm. It is no wonder that next spring it is closing, and being replaced by a station that is already being constructed just beyond the road bridge in the distance in the picture above.

  I had several large whiskies last night before I went to bed at about 11pm. I felt very tired but I wanted to be sure I was well saturated before I went to bed to reduce any discomfort from my rib cage. For a while it worked OK. I did my best not to do anything to aggravate my chest, but obviously I couldn't do that while asleep. I slept OK until 3am. I mostly woke up for a pee, but my chest did feel pretty bad - not terrible, but very suspicious. 3am is a very popular time for heart attacks, or so I believe, and some of the discomfort I was in could easily be taken to be one of the symptoms of a heart attack.

 I even had one more symptom - a pain in the arm, but fortunately I realised that pain was in a very specific place, and that place was exactly where I had my 'flu jab. On an intellectual I knew that the discomforts I was experiencing were just my wonky ribcage and it's soft tissues, and that it was nothing new, but at 3am, while laying in the dark, the mind can invent all sorts of scenarios. I wondered if I should get up, have a shower, pack some useful stuff into my ruck sack, and then take a wander to the hospital to book myself into A&E with chest pains. Eventually I fell asleep while contemplating all the possibilities.

  This morning my chest is still feeling tender. Maybe if it does get worse I might actually go along to the hospital. Presenting myself as having a heart attack would get quick attention, and it is even possible that it might not actually be wrong. On the other hand it might be an underhand way to get these aches and pains that have been going on for 5 nyears now, investigated a bit faster, and with more thoroughness than my GP can manage (and he just writes them off as soft tissue damage).

   Apart from a very outside chance of presenting myself at the hospital, I have no particular plans for today. It is warm and sunny, and I feel I ought not to waste that. A visit to the coast would be nice, but I am not sure that I want to spend hours sitting on a train while my chest/ribcage is playing up. Posture seems to be a significant thing for my chest problems, and some, perhaps all train seats seem to encourage me to adopt a bad posture. I just don't seem to fit in thse seats in the ways the designers intended ! Maybe I'll just go for a more local walk today.
Tuesday 9th October 2018
08:35 BST

  It's a bit hard to know how to describe yesterday's weather. The easy bit was that it was dry all day. There were too few sunny intervals to say it was a particularly bright day, and the temperature was about as low as it can go, and maybe a little lower than that in a few circumstances, to go out without a coat. It was probably little more than 17° C at best. Sometimes it was overcast, and occasionally the sun would pop out for a few minutes.
a warm
                      and sunny day - probably
  Today should be quite different to yesterday. It looked a bit grey at sunrise, and it was a lot cooler than the forecast predicted - although it may not have specifically predicted the temperature outside my back door on the north side of my house. It was just 7° C at about 8am. The sun is out now, and the forecast says it should shine all day. That will, or should, raise the temperature to a very pleasant 20° C. The latest revision to the forecast says it should stay that high for several hours this afternoon. It looks like it is going to be an even milder night tonight, and tomorrow should start at 12° C. It is currently predicted to peak at 23° C, but there will be a bit less sunshine than today should have.

  I went out twice yesterday. The first was a successful visit to the pharmacy. To my great relief they had my repeat prescription there, but they hadn't made it up. It was quiet in there, and they said they would get it together in about 10 minutes if I cared to wait. While I was waiting, the nice pharmacist, Maurizio, asked if I would like a 'flu jab. Apart from possible problems with early batches of the 'flu vaccine, such as it not offering full protection to this years 'flu strain, it was better than getting hassled by the group practice, and 100 yard long queues for their walk in service. So I said yes. It wasn't as pain free as some of the nurses sometimes manage, but he did a reasonably good job. A day later and I seem to not have been affected by the jab - some years I suffer from some mild 'flu symptoms for 24 hours.

  The second time I went out is more long winded to explain. I went out to put some extra miles on my 60+ Oystercard that gives me free travel on London's buses, tubes, and trains. I had two particular destinations on mind. One was to go to Turkey Street station somewhere up in North London. There was only one reason why I wanted to go there, and that was because the name seemed funny to me. Having been there, and checked on Google maps, it is less funny now. The station itself is fine, and it is named after the road it crosses, and that may be named after the Turkey Brook that runs alongside it for some of it's length.
Turkey Street
Turkey Street station is part of The London Overground - hence the orange roundels.
class 315 train at Turkey Street
This is the rear of the train that took me to Turkey Street from Liverpool Street station. It is a class 315 electric multiple unit, and is very similar to the class 455 trains I used to use when commuting to Earlsfield station. There are two big differences between the two. The class 315 runs on 25kV from the overhead wire, and the class 455 runs on 750V from the third rail. The other difference is these class 315 trains have not had an internal refurbishment, and been retro fitted with more comfy seats. The low back seats are particularly uncomfortable after more than 10 minutes use !
Street entrance of Turkey Street
The street level entrance to Turkey Street station. The sandwich board in the entrance says that they want to close the manned ticket office because it gets so little use - allegedly.
Train going back towards London
Long shoot using zoom, which compresses distance, of the train I caught to leave Turkey Street, and go to Silver Street.
sculpture in park opposite Turkey
                          Street station
Before leaving the area I spotted this sculpture in a park opposite the entrance of Turkey Street station.

  After leaving Turkey Street I decided to break my journey by getting off the train at Silver street, and take a few photos there before getting a train back to Liverpool Street station. It was not a particularly interesting station, but it does get 4 trains an hour compared to only 2 trains an hour at Turkey Street. Two come from Cheshunt, and two come from Enfield station. It was just a convenient way to break up a long journey.

 From Silver Street I travelled all the way to Liverpool Street station where I took advantage of the toilets there - even though they were 30p a visit. From Liverpool Street I found a class 360 train going to Stratford. I had never travelled in a class 360 train before. Unfortunately it was very busy, and I didn't get to appreciate it properly. One thing I did note was that it was also stopping at Romford on it's way to Colchester. I had plenty of time on my hands so I stayed on it until we got to Romford.

  On the way to Romford were were passed by several of the new class 345 trains that are part of the fleet that will be used on Crossrail. I hoped to catch one back from Romford to Stratford station. I managed to snap a couple as the went through Romford, but when my train turned up it was another class 315 (or maybe a class 317). I rode that back to Stratford where I had a struggle to find platform 11. It turned out that I had used the wrong staircase, and ended up in the wrong subway. that subway serves all other platforms except platforms 10 to 12. It is a maze of subways, stairs and stuff to get into the right subway to access platform 11.

  Even after a long walk in the bowels of Stratford station I still had plenty of time on my hands to get the train to my next destination. That destination was Angel Road, and it is very poorly served by trains. The first train in the afternoon, after no trains since the morning rush hour, was at 4pm, and it was still only 4.30pm. Faced with a 30 minute wait I decided to catch a train straight away to somewhere, and change trains trains further down the line. I noticed that Lea Bridge station did not exist on the 2013 rail map I had with me, and decided to get off there to see what was happening.

  Lea Bridge station looks brand new, but it isn't. It closed quite some years ago, but was rebuilt, and re-opened just a couple of years ago. There is a plaque on the station that tells the story of this.  I'll show it in a day or two. I had half an hour to kill at Lea Bridge, and there was not a lot to see there. Eventually my train arrived, and we set off to Angel Road station.

  Angel Road station is in the middle of an industrial hell hole with some very noisy main roads to add to it's grim feeling. Another very significant thing about it is that it is due to close sometime early next year, and I wanted to get a few pictures of it before it closes. It is being replaced by a new station with the poncey name of "Meridean Waters" just a few hundred yards away. It was easy to see the new station being built from the end of Angel Road station. I think I had something like a half hour wait there for a rare train that stops there to take me back to Stratford.

  Ideally it would have been nice to have a pee at Angel Road, but there were no facilities for that there (apart from some bushes). Stratford station does have toilets that sometimes work, and are sometimes open, but I decided to go straight to the DLR platforms and get a DLR rain back to Lewisham via a change at Canary Wharf. I arrived at Lewisham with about 7 minutes to spare to get the 5.47pm train to Catford Bridge. I arrived home just after 6pm. It had been quite a long day out, and I felt very tired when I got home.

  I also felt quite hungry, and looking forward to my breakfast, lunch and dinner ! I had a couple of all day breakfast rolls in the fridge that I had bought from the reduced price shelf in Tesco on Sunday, and they went down well as my evening breakfast ! I then had an alleged low calorie vegetable biryana for dinner. Later on I had some crisps - which was a shame because until then my food intake for the day had been quite moderate.

  With a bit of food inside me I made a start of checking, selecting and editing some of the pictures I took yesterday. By the time I had got to the end of the pictures I took at Turkey Street it felt like it was time for bed. I reckon I was fast asleep some time before 10pm, and possibly soon after 9pm. After all that fresh air and stuff I slept solidly until 4am. At least I think I did, but it is possible I really did get up for a wee around 2am, and not just dream it. After 4am my sleep became intermittent, but I did get a few more hours.

  This morning I don't seem to feel that bad now. Maybe I felt semi-awful for the first 10 or 15 minutes ! There are three possible things I shall be doing today. One is to continue going through the pictures I took yesterday. Another is to do some more garden clearance. That is a low priority, and I may not even move the wheelie bin into the back garden. The third thing is that being a warm sunny day, I hope to meet Angela in the park for her lunchbreak. It will be the first time since 20th April, and I think that after 5 or 10 minutes it will feel like no time has passed at all. Sadly it will be just a one off meeting, and there is no intention to meet again on anything like any regular basis, but hopefully it can happen now and then. 
Monday 8th October 2018
08:58 BST

  Yesterday was much nicer than the day before. There was some actual sunshine ! The forecast screenshot I showed yesterday said there would be non stop sunshine from 9am to 6pm, but I don't remember it being like that. There were a lot of clouds in the sky, and I seem to remember that it was mostly sunny periods during most of the day. The temperature was not very high, perhaps just 15° C at maximum, but it didn't feel too bad, and there was enough sunshine shining through my front windows to keep the place comfortable without having the heating on until early evening (and for a few hours in the morning).
disappointingly dull
  A few days ago there was hope that today might be fairly sunny, but with every revision of the forecast less and less sunshine has been shown. The very latest revision restricts any chance of sunshine to a few sunny spells between 5 and 6pm. The sunny spells between 8am and 10am have disappeared from the forecast, and in protest, the sky which seemed to have enough broken cloud to let through the odd ray of sunshine, is now blanketed with thick cloud. Fortunately the temperature, estimated to be 17° C for several hours this afternoon, should stay the same, although the brief blip to 18°C at 4pm seems to have disappeared. Tomorrow is still set to be fine. There should be plenty of sunshine, and the temperature could reach 20° C if we are lucky.

  It was fairly pleasant when I went shopping in Tesco yesterday. That was about the only thing of any significance that I did, although I was not completely idle. For various reasons, the details of which were not really significant enough to remember, I did seem to go up and down the stairs a lot yesterday afternoon. It was mostly to go to the kitchen for food reasons, but also to do some low priority stuff on my laptop. I was ripping a couple of DVDs to make back ups of them. It is a CPU intensive task, and while the CPU on my laptop is pretty poor by modern standards, it was happy to sit there slowly munching through the bytes, and leaving my desktop machine upstairs free to do other stuff.

  One of the standard problems of going to Tesco was that I came away with some stuff that I couldn't resist eating too soon. Although in yesterday's case it was just some loose ham from the reduced price shelf. Maybe the apple and pear, with a chunk of cheese, were in excess of what I needed, but apart from the cheese, the fruit is apparently good for us. At least I deliberately selected types that don't seem to taste sweet, and so theoretically have less natural sugar in them.

  One superfluous item was a packet of sausages that I had bought in Aldi earlier in the week. I ate them in a sort of protest. One item bought from Tesco was a roast beef ready meal, and it was just one tick away from being describable as horrible. It certainly was not enjoyable, although I am not sure why. The roast potatoes were the best thing. They were surprisingly nice considering they were microwaved. Unfortunately the Yorkshire pudding did not seem to be organic in origin. It was not just that the texture after microwaving was poor, but it actually tasted horrible. The carrots tasted horrible, and the beef tasted strange. The gravy it came in tasted fine. If the meal had just been the gravy and roast potato it would be a very small meal, but very nice.

  During the afternoon I had this idea re-assure Angela that I was looking after myself, and keeping an eye on my health. I checked my blood pressure, and I have to admit it was higher than expected. In some ways this was to be expected after running out of most of my medications, and I had to almost get myself in a zen like trance to get a blood pressure reading that was only on the very edge of acceptably low to photograph, and send to Angela. She never responded to my message which was a little annoying, but I expect she was busy, or had lover boy hovering over her shoulder. She has probably forgotten about it now.

  During the evening I was laying on my bed reading, and concluded that my pillows were uncomfortable. It was tricky to know what to do because I find the height of my pillows to be very important. I decided to replace one pillow with a memory foam pillow I had bought a few years back, and at the time decided I didn't like it. This time it seemed fine just on it's own. I went to bed after watching some TV, possibly just after 10pm, and it seemed like my head felt comfortable.

  I did seem to sleep well for quite a few hours before waking up for a pee. I felt rather good for sleeping on that pillow. It seemed like it was the cure for several ongoing aches and pains. The only problem was it only seemed that way. After my pee I got back into bed, and I was soon fast asleep again. I don't know what I did different, but I woke up an hour later and those aches and pains were not only back, but magnified. My neck and shoulders felt really stiff and painful. I tried to be very careful when I went back to sleep, and somehow I managed to wake up again feeling far better, and the stiff neck and shoulders almost, but only almost back to being OK.

  I don't think it had anything to do with the pillow, but I had two memorable bits of dreams lodged in my mind when I woke up. One dream was very frustrating, but the other was intriguing. The first dream was set at a gig in a large hall. I was there with my camera, but for some reason I had only brought one lens with me, and not only was it not the ideal lens for the circumstances, but it kept fogging up. I had to keep taking off a filter element at the front, and cleaning it. By the time the dream seemed to fade away I don't think I had managed to take a single picture.

  The other dream sort of followed on from the first dream, but there was a large gap in time between the two. In the first dream I was not the only photographer, and there was one there who is a sort of friend. He must have offered me a lift home, although I have no memory of the offer, or getting in his car. My second dream started with me sitting in the front passenger seat of his car. In the dream he owned a self driving car, and I was alone in it with no knowledge of how to tell it where to go, and how to stop it. Fortunately it stopped at some traffic lights very near the Post Office in Catford. I have no idea why, but I wanted to go into the post office, and so while the car was stopped at the lights I jumped out. As soon as the lights changed the car drove off by itself to who knows where. It was probably a vision of the future...maybe.

  This morning it felt prudent to take a couple of pain killers, and they, maybe helped by a hot-ish shower seem to have left me feeling sort of OK. I have little planned for today except to go along to the pharmacy once my freshly washed hair is a bit drier. Hopefully they will have my repeat prescription made up and waiting for me. If not then I hope the prescription has been printed out and waiting for me in reception next door in the group practice. The worst case scenario is if they want to force me into getting my meds reviewed by a doctor. The difficult there is actually trying to get an appointment !

  There is a fantastically small possibility of Angela contacting me to arrange a meet so she can find out what it is that I said I would be giving to her. The chances of that happening are probably not even worth considering, and despite my eagerness for it to happen, a meeting in the park when it should be warm and sunny tomorrow would be a far better idea. I think my intention is to assume that I won't hear from Angela, and to go out somewhere to distract me from food. I really need to have a couple of days of eating less. I may just go for random rides on trains and tubes using my 60+ Oyster card for free travel.
Sunday 7th October 2018
09:53 BST

  It was horrible yesterday. It was cold, and damp, and wet, and gloomy, and sunless, and it rained a lot ! The highest temperature was possibly slightly less than the forecast 13° C
cold but
  Today is in complete contrast to yesterday. It is bright and sunny, and should stay bright and sunny. It won't rain, and yesterday's soggyness is drying out. The only catch is that it will not be particularly warm. The overnight temperature could have been low enough to have been only a couple of degrees away from a frost. As I write this the temperature should have just passed 8°, but in reality, or outside my back door, on the north side of the house, the temperature has barely reached 7° C. Tomorrow may start very slightly less cool, and the temperature may briefly hit 18° C in the afternoon, but there may only be some sunny intervals for a few hours in the morning, and then a few more hours towards sunset. The middle of the day could be a bit dull. Oh well, there could still be some mildly warm days coming in the weeek ahead.
 just after 9am
                          on a cold morning
The sun is still very low over to the left of this picture, but the sky is blue, and it is bloody cold outside !

  The gloom and the rain rather depressed my yesterday morning, and I found it hard to motivate myself to do much. One thing I needed to do was to go to the pharmacy and see if my repeat prescription had been sent there, and made up. It was almost gone midday when I finally went over myself with a soapy flannel (because I could be bothered to take a shower), and then got dressed to go out. On this occasion getting dressed included putting on a hooded rain-proof coat. When I first opened the front door the smell of the wet earth was quite exhilarating, but the excitement soon paled as the rain started to soak through my trousers. On top of that my feet got wet because I couldn't avoid some puddles. Plus my wet hands were feeling quite cold. All that for a 6 minute walk, but there was worse to come....
outside the pharmacy
                        in the pouring rain
  The picture above was taken at 12:23am, and as the lettering on the door says, the pharmacy closes at 11am on a Saturday. It does re-open at 6.30pm until 9.30pm. That late opening is, I believe, mainly for the drug addicts who are prescribed drugs, possibly methadone, that has to be taken on the premises, and witnessed by the pharmacist. Having got soaked going to and from there, and coming empty handed, meant I was not feeling too happy. I had a bit of a moan about it on a certain social media platform, and mentioned that my second heart attack, back in 2013, wasn't exceptionally painful, and that maybe it would be easier to just forget the drugs and die.

  Perhaps I was being over dramatic, although I was close to thinking along those lines, but it resulted in a very strange thing happening. I got a phone call from Angela enquiring if I was OK. There has been no change in her circumstances, but it seems she still does care, and there is still a tiny corner of her heart for me. It was really nice to talk with Angela, and it lifted my spirits a lot on such a gloomy day.

  I mentioned how I had gone through the park on my way to Cash Converters to see if she was in the park at lunchtime last Tuesday. She said that she rarely goes in there at lunchtime now, but would be happy to meet me in there one sunny lunchtime. I had hoped that tomorrow (Monday) would be sunny at lunchtime, but the forecast now says that Tuesday might be better.

  It seems that while we are no longer "friends" on social media, Angela still checks up on me, and knew that I had not been to any gigs for almost three weeks. She encouraged me to not give up on going to gigs, and said I ought to try to get out last night. I said that maybe I would look in on The Life Of Brian in The Mitre in Greenwich. I knew they would not be fronted by Miranda, and Angela explained that Miranda has now become a full time university student study for a degree, and so didn't have time to sing any more. That's a shame, but I expect the call of the microphone will come to her again, and maybe once she settles into the routine of studying she will find there is time to appear at least at an occasional gig.

  After speaking to Angela I decided I would try and prepare myself to go out in the evening, and going to Greenwich seemed the simplest option. I frequently only stay at The Mitre for the first set of any band, and so it would not be too stressful. I knew that it would not be so good without Miranda, but I didn't think it would anywhere near as bad as Angela thought it would be. In preparation I avoided eating too much, and did some intensive resting (because I couldn't be bothered to do anything more constructive).

  Eventually the time came around to get ready to go out. I was nearly put off when I put my jeans on. The bottom of the legs were still cold and wet after my earlier walk to the pharmacy. Fortunately the hi top Converse trainers I put on acted as a part barrier to those cold wet trouser bottoms ! Eventually I walked out into the cold dark night. It had all but stopped raining by then. I could feel some fine rain hitting my face, but it wasn't enough to fog my glasses.

  There is something about the 199 bus and how it appears on the countdown display at the bus stop - sometimes it doesn't ! This is similar to the 320 bus at the bus stop near The Partridge in Bromley. Why only one bus, and just for part of it's route that it shares with other buses, isn't detected is a great mystery. Anyway, after no more than 10 minutes a 199 bus arrived, and I was on my way to Greenwich to see The Life Of Brian - or three quarters of them !

  It was very quiet when I got to the pub. When I walked through to the back of the pub I saw that the tables hadn't been moved to allow the band to set up, and there was no sign of the band or any equipment. Despite the pubs events page still saying that The Life Of Brian should have been playing, it was obvious that the gig had been cancelled, and the pub knew about it in advance. So I turned around and went home again.

  On  my way home I treated myself to a chicken and "fries" takeaway. It should have been delicious to have eaten it when I got back home in the warm, and while it was "nice" it was actually a bit disappointing. It does seem that I am going off chicken and "fries", but I am too stupid to realise it. Oddly enough, I think I enjoyed the usually loathsome fries more than the chicken. Maybe I'll have to buy some genuine KFC someday to see if that still tastes exciting. Maybe it would all taste more exciting if I still smoked.

  To a limited extent it was pleasant doing what I was originally going to do anyway - staying in by myself. Eventually I became bored, but it took a few hours, and then I went to bed. I think it may have been not all that long after 10pm before I was asleep. I did get up again for maybe 20 - 60 minutes (I didn't bother to time it) in the small hours, and tehn again for at least an hour at about 7am when the days was just starting to get light, but generally I think I slept reasonably OK last night.

  Today I have a whole lot of nothing planned ! Actually I may go to Tesco to top up my whisky supplies....and to buy other stuff as well. Maybe I might be tempted to go for a short walk in the park, or somewhere, in the sunshine, but I am expecting it to be too cool for anything further afield. There is often some sort of gig or open mic on Sundays, but nothing has caught my eye, and at least for now I'll be assuming I would probably not go out anyway. There are one or two things I might do around the house, and I have plenty to read.
multi tool bought from
                        the Pound Shop
  A couple of days ago I bought this multi tool from the pound shop, and I think it was just a £1 (they do have some shelves with stuff costing more than £1 now). It is quite small - about 3" long when folded up, but it does seem to be of reasonable quality. It is made in China, but by, or for, a US based company, or so the packaging seems to suggest. One thing is for sure, and that is that unlike some Chinese stuff it is not all floppy. In fact it was very stiff, and a real finger nail ripper to get some of those tools out. I gave it a good oiling, and left it for a few days. This morning it is easier to open it up. I doubt I will ever use it for anything, and if I do it may well break, or bend the first time it has to do some work, but it seems a handy thing to have around.
Saturday 6th October 2018
10:26 BST

  The sunny periods yesterday seemed rather intermittent. It didn't really feel like a sunny day, but it did feel warm, but again not as warm as the forecast 21° C. I'm not sure it got much above 18° C in these parts, but overall it was quite a nice day, and not nearly as autumnal as it might have been.
dull and
Today's forecast started off wrong - again !. This morning, after 2 misty mornings, the forecasters assumed that this morning might be misty too - it wasn't ! The current forecast temperature seems about right, and at best the temperature is only going to rise another degree. Then, after a couple of hours, it will start to get chilly before the afternoon is even over. To make the misery worse it is going to rain. The latest revision of the forecast says the rain will finish a bit earlier than in the screenshot above, but when it does rain it is likely to be heavier. Tomorrow is now forecast to be much sunnier, but it may still only be 15° C. Monday, shown above as being overcast, is now though to be sunny, but still only 18° C.
 very dull, but
                          no mist or fog
The view out of my bathroom window as almost exactly sunrise this morning. It is very dull and heavily overcast, but there is no sign of the forecast mist or fog.

  Perhaps it was a delayed reaction to my burst of garden clearance last Wednesday, but yesterday I seemed to be aching a lot more. Some of it, maybe all of it, was also caused by sleeping on a rucked up mattress protector. I stripped off the bed yesterday, and sorted that mattress protector out. In consequence I slept better last night - when I actually slept ! Of which more later.  The aches and pains left me feeling very un-dynamic !

  I managed to persuade myself to do a bit of laundry - just a couple of t-shirts, a tea towel and a small hand towel. It seemed bright enough to hang them on the line outside to dry, but 4 hours later they were still very damp, and I brought them inside to dry once sunset approached.

  Another thing I did was to go out for a walk in the sunshine. It wasn't a very long walk, but if I recall correctly it was only sunny when I set out, and then again when I reached home. It was as if the gods were playing tricks upon me ! The walk was a shopping trip with a difference. I felt an urge to check a few charity shops for CDs and DVDs while keeping an eye out for any interesting cameras I might see - which was none ! My first stop was the British Heart Foundation shop.
2 CDs bought from the
                        British Heart Foundation shop
  I bought a few CDs from there - including the 2 pictured above. I also bought what turned out to be a duplicate of a CD I already owned - Manic Street Preachers "Generation Terrorists". For some reason I thought I only once had it on vinyl. The Rumours Revisited CD turned out to be pretty poor. That didn't really come as any shocking news, but it was momentarily interesting to hear other bands interpretations of the songs on the classic Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" album. There was just one song that was almost acceptable on it. I must now decide whether to keep it or destroy it so it can't be inflicted on anyone else !

  The R.E.M. cd, "Automatic For The People" was a surprise. I would never had said that I liked R.E.M. before this, but I recognised most of the songs on this very acclaimed album. They had the strange quality of being completely ignorable - nothing to annoy, and nothing to excite. I read a book while listening to it, and apart from an occasional few seconds where I would say to myself "I recognise that song", I heard it all without listening to it.

  I also bought a DVD from the British Heart Foundation shop, and one from the Sue Ryder charity shop. One was the classic comedy "The Naked Gun", and the other was "Space Cowboys". I feel sure, although I haven't checked, that I already own the latter in completely different packaging. I doubt there will be any difference to the content aprt from one of them possibly being a rental version, and the other a retail version. It has only cost me £1 to find out, and despite having to be fairly careful with my finances until my state pension kicks in, I can afford to waste the occasion £1.

  Initially I ate very little yesterday, but as the day wore on I started to eat more. It was not a great idea because I was considering going out last night. I was very certain that Nigel and Sue would not be at Chain's gig in West Wickham, and so I could have gone up there for at least Chain's first set, but when the time came I could not motivate myself. It didn't help that I had eaten late in the afternoon, and was still feeling well fed when it came to the time when I should have been going to the station. It also didn't help that at that very moment I developed a sort of trapped wind pain, and 10 minutes later curing that pain in an explosive way - several times. Mostly though, I just couldn't be bothered to go out.

  The odd thing last night was that after not sleeping well the night before, and then looking forward to getting into my refurdled bed (or whatever describes a bed that has been stripped down and re-made), I found that I didn't want to go to bed. I tried making myself sleepy with large measures of whisky, but even that didn't help - although I may have slightly over-done it ! It was 2am this morning before I went to sleep.

  It was a great disappointment to wake up just 2 hours later from a fairly pleasant dream for no special reason. I went for a wee when I woke up, but there didn't seem to be any urgency about it. I went back to bed, and fell asleep again for another couple of hours. Maybe I got about 6 hours sleep in total from three periods of sleep last night/this morning. I might have hoped for more, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not fall asleep again at the end.

  I don't think I feel particularly tired now, and the good thing was that re-making my bed seems to have reduced, and maybe eliminated some aches and pains this morning. If it weren't a horrible gloomy day I could be excited enough to do something, but at the moment the only thing on my schedule is to wash and go to the pharmacy to see if my repeat prescription has been made up for collection. At this point in time I have heard nothing from the surgery. So either my prescription request is still sitting at the bottom of an unused and dusty, but unsealed post box, or it was passed to the pharmacy. There is also the possibility that the prescription has been left with reception because I don't think I specified that it should go to the pharmacy in the same building, although that is my sort of standing order.

  Once I have been to the pharmacy (and possibly reception at my GP) I have no plans for the rest of the daylight hours. It is predicted to be very wet, and so outdoor activities are unlikely. There is a microscopic chance that I might go out tonight. I was sure that The Life Of Brian were playing in Greenwich tonight, but I can't seem to find any confirmation of it at the moment. Maybe it was a past or future Saturday. What would make it an interesting gig is that the last info I heard was that it was going ahead without Miranda because she has certain troubles. I would presume that there would be even lass chance of Angela and lover boy going without Miranda singing. In reality I will probably look out the window. See the rain, draw the curtains, bolt the front door, and settle down to another night in by myself.
Friday 5th October 2018
08:41 BST

  After a misty start, yesterday turned out to be almost nice. The various revisions of the forecast would occasionally add in a brief sunny period, but in reality there were quite a few sunny periods. Some were very short, others less so, and they appeared at random times during the day. Unfortunately there were not enough to distract from the idea that yesterday was a rather cool day. The highest temperature was forecast to be 19° C, but it never seemed to feel like that.
                      might end up as a nice day
hasty revision to match
Today's forecast started off wrong. I'm guessing that someone at the forecasting centre looked out the window and saw the fog and mist that they hadn't predicted. He (or she) then quickly pencilled in "Mist" for 9am, and hastily issued a revision. I have the feeling that when the mist lifts it will reveal a sunny day that will slowly warm up until it is pleasantly warm. It is the sort of thing that happens at this time of the year.  The forecast reckons the sunny periods will drive the temperature up to a nice 21° C soon after midday. After sunset it will cool down again fairly quickly, but not get as low as last night. Tomorrow will then be an awful day. It is predicted to be very grey, quite wet, and just 13° C.  Fortunately after tomorrow's low point the weather should start to improve again, and by the middle of next week it might be quite nice again for a day or two. The picture below is the view from my bathroom window at about sunrise.
 almost foggy
  My predictions for yesterday were approximately right, but as I shall explain, I was missing one important bit of information that was to affect the evening. Relatively early in the morning I went to Aldi to get quite a lot of shopping. Included in it were a pack of toilet paper, and a bottle of detergent. The rest was quite a lot of food, and inevitably I ate more than was ideal yesterday. For breakfast I had bacon and mushrooms. I try not to have any breakfast because it usually just slows me down, and to a limited extent it did yesterday. On the other hand it was useful to have that, plus some other food before I went out for my late afternoon drink.

  About the only thing I did before going out was to do a bit of laundry, but it was a semi light load. I spent more time reading on my bed and snoozing - although I think it was only one snooze that probably didn't last much longer than 10 minutes. One of the things I was going to do, but never did, was to wash my hair. I would usually do it at the same time as showering, but I didn't want to go to Aldi with wet hair, and decided I would do it later - except I didn't.

  At just before 4pm I went to Catford station to get my train to Shortlands. I set off at a fairly fast pace, and it quickly became tiring. I don't know why I did it because I knew I had left in plenty of time to get to the station. So I tried to slow down, but evidently not enough because I still had an almost 10 minute wait for the train. On reflection, it wasn't so much tiring as I walked at a fast pace, but it was shaking up my chest. I thought I had got away with not disturbing my wonky rib cage when I did my "gardening" the day before, but during that walk I became aware of several bits that were a bit tender. I'm not sure why I didn't feel them when I went to Aldi in the morning. Maybe it was because I was wearing not very comfortable shoes to go to Aldi, and they were distracting my attention. Plus on the way back I was deliberately taking it easy because it was a fair amount to carry.
Another Ofo bike !
  When I arrived at Shortlands, and about 100 yards from the pub, I was confronted by yet another Ofo bike. I am starting to see these everywhere now - which is strange because I thought the Chinese company who were running this dockless bike sharing scheme had decided to give up on it. This bike is slightly different to the other Ofo bikes I have seen. It could be an older or newer model than the others I have seen.
Ofo control box
  On this bike the control box, and locking mechanism were plain to see. It is also plain to see that someone has broken away some of the housing of the control box, and apparently disabled the locking mechanism. Part of a silvery looking bolt can just be seen where the case has been broken away. I think it is a circular bolt that revolves around until it block the spokes from turning. This one looks like it has been disabled. A recent rumour is that these bikes are favoured by drug dealers because it is so easy to disable the security on them.

  Inside the pub I found there were several interesting beers to consider. One was a smoky beer that I accepted a taster of. I found it more sooty than smoky, and didn't go for it, but oddly enough everyone else did, and stuck to it all night. First of all I tried a very pale looking IPA. It was very hoppy, but nice hops, and quite tasty. I had a pint of that, and then I had a pint of Lumberjack - a 5.2% beer that was very, very nice ! I had two more pints of it after that. Normally I try and stick with just three pints.

  Just after 7pm I left the pub to get my train home. By coincidence so did Chris. He was getting a train to Petts Wood to attend a Petts Woodstock committee meeting. Both of us were pleasantly drunk, but I was going home for dinner, and Chris was having his meeting in a pub ! When I got home I felt ravenous. I had precooked some sausages, and I quickly zapped them in the microwave while what should have been my real dinner cooked in the oven. It was chicken and gravy in a large Yorkshire pudding. It was very nice, but surprisingly small. I guess it should have been served with roast potatoes (or chips) and something like peas, or another green vegetable. I was glad I had the sausages !

  I went to bed feeling full and still happy drunk. It took a little while until I fell asleep, but once I did I slept soundly for 3 or 4 hours. For the rest of the night I slept really badly. I kept waking up, sometimes from semi-bad dreams, and found it very difficult to get back to sleep again. The more I thrashed around in bed the more uncomfortable it got because the mattress protect had shifted, and was getting wrinkled. I probably should have stripped the bed at 3am and put everything straight, but I didn't. In consequence I got up this morning with all sorts of bit aching. Many, but not all of those aches have dissipated, but some remain - as does my hangover !

  I had a vague idea that I might go to the seaside today to make best use of another possibly nice warm and sunny day, but I am not so sure that is what I'll end up doing. At the moment I haven't got a clue what I am doing, although I think that there is a gig that it might be safe to go to tonight if I don't go to the seaside. Chain are at The Swan in West Wickham - a venue that I am not keen on, but It's OK. I think Sue will be seeing Glamstar somewhere, and so that will be where Nigel should be - if he can get to that venue, wherever it is. If he can't there is always the possibility that he could turn up in West Wickham. Ugh !
Thursday 4th October 2018
07:56 BST

  Once again the forecast was overly pessimistic for yesterday. Various revisions of the forecast said there might be some sunny intervals just before sunset, but none of them mentioned that there would be some nice, although often brief, sunny spells through the whole day. It was dry, and although 19° C didn't feel quite as warm as the previous day when there was a bit more sunshine, it still felt very comfortable.
  In light of the vagueness, and inaccuracies of recent forecasts, it is hard to know what to make of the forecast for today. The temperature range is probably right. It is about 12° C now, and I can believe that it will peak at around 19° C again, but it is how to interpret that cloud that is bothersome. It looks like the whole day will see light grey cloud blanketing the whole sky, and not letting through a peep of sunshine. One thing definitely missed on this forecast, although I think I heard mention of it on the TV forecast last night, is that today has started off quite misty. It is possible that nearer the river, running through the park, the mist is a lot thicker than here, and there is a hint of that in the distant trees in this picture.
mist in the distance
                        (plus a gas heater emitting a local fog)
  Yesterday was a busy day...or at least some of it was. My plans for yesterday went astray when I was distracted for ages by a phone call from my friend Lee. He was after some technical advice. While he was on the phone I asked him if he could rescue my purple courier bag from Sue's house because he still sees Sue - rather more than he admits to in my opinion. It was gone midday when my phone calls from Lee finished, and I could start a modified version of what I thought I might do yesterday.

  The first thing was to drop off a repeat prescription request to my doctors surgery. I don't think it is used much now, but the letter box for repeat prescription requests was still there, and I posted my request. At this point in time I haven't been contacted by reception to tell me that my prescription must be reviewed by a doctor first, and possibly suggest a date and time for an appointment. I expect it will happen sooner or later, but if not I'll go along to the pharmacy Friday afternoon and see if they have heard anything.

  My next port of call was to Cash Converters in Lewisham (on the borders of Ladywell) to have another look at the lens I saw in their window the day before. A closer inspection showed it was not as useful in terms of zoom range as I had first thought, but it was still useful for another reason. It was silver coloured and matched my Canon "Rebel" camera (the US name for the EOS 300D). It was also rather cheap, and so I bought it anyway, but only after checking it on the camera I had taken with me.

  I was feeling lazy when I went to Cash Converters, and for some reason I thought I was running a long way behind schedule. In reality I wasn't, but at the time I thought it worth getting a bus there. When I had bought the lens I decided to walk home. I thought I had timed it about right that I might bump into Angela as she left work at lunchtime, but no matter how slowly I walked, or tried to walk, I still passed her place of work 7 minutes before here lunchbreak (assuming she still takes it at the same time). Maybe I'll have to try and bump into her sometime next week now.

  The walk back home must have been about a mile, and possibly very slightly more considering I didn't go the most direct route because I wanted to use the hole-in-the-wall cash machine outside the Tesco Express near the end of my road. After my two previous days of practice I found the walk to be very easy, and I could have started doing stuff as soon as I got home, but I decided on some lunch first. I had two vegetable side dishes I had ordered with my curry the night before. After eating those I rechecked my new lens, and then had a lie down.

  I found that I wasn't really able to relax as I thought I might, and after about 30 minutes I was up again, and out in the garden for more garden clearance. I had originally thought that I would push right through to the back fence the next time I started work out there, but I got distracted by wanting to dispose of more of the tree branches laying alongside the main trunk of the felled tree. That involved quite a lot of sawing to get the branched down into short lengths to go in the brown wheelie bin. I didn't get them as short as they were supposed to be, but I think they were close enough, and once they have been tipped into the lorry, and then fed into a massive industrial chipper, no one will be the wiser. If it wasn't for the picture of the full wheelie bin it would almost look like I did very little !
another wheelie bin
                        filled close to the brim
  The top layer of green stuff partly conceals lots of heavier wood - the result of much sweat and toil ! I did push a little further back towards the back fence, and it was far enough to cut the bottom of the ivy climbing up the fence of the left of the picture below. I've marked the approximate extra area cleared by enclosing it in the hashed yellow line. I didn't go down to ground level on the right hand side - that was mostly tree branches that I cleared, and there are still plenty of weeds to dispose of there - but that will be easy now the wood is out of the way.
cleared, or part
                        cleared within the yellow boundary
  I built up quite a sweat working in the garden, and I thought I would end up feeling knackered. I did, but for far shorter period of time than I had imagined. I also wondered what damage I might have done to my wonky rib cage. As well as all the sawing I had to do, I had to pull really hard to release two of the biggest branches from the undergrowth. It seems I did no damage to me chest at all. It didn't give me any bother for the rest of the day.

  It didn't feel like I had spent a long time in the garden, but by the time I had finished out there, and cooled off, dinner was not far away. My dinner, when I ate it a couple of hours later, was based around two small servings of pilau rice left of from the curry the night before. I stirred in some dry roasted peanuts before zapping one small portion in the microwave. With the addition of some tomato and chill sauce it was pleasant enough, but maybe not as exciting as I hoped. I heated the second portion of rice heaped onto some German salami - once again with tomato and chilli sauce on it. That was much nicer, but still failed on being rather dry - which was pretty obvious, but I couldn't think of something like an appropriate gravy to pour on it.

 Like many meal that use a lot of rice, I almost felt hungry again by bedtime. It wasn't bad enough to lose sleep over though. The reason why I felt wide awake as I tried to go to sleep is a mystery. I though the long(ish) walk, and the "gardening" would ensure I slept well last night. Unfortunately it didn't, and I think I had a lousy night's sleep. Of course I thought that yesterday morning, but events and achievements seem to prove that idea wrong. Maybe it will be wrong today as well.

 One thing I didn't do yesterday was to go shopping in Aldi. I think that will be my first priority once I am washed and dressed. The only other definite thing today is my regular late Thursday afternoon drink with the rest of the guys. We are back at Shortlands today - at least I think we are, and that is where I'll be going unless I hear differently. Apart from eating, I am unsure what I'll be doing between going to Aldi, and going to Shortlands.
Wednesday 3rd October 2018
08:40 BST

   The forecast said there would be no sunshine, but reality disagreed yesterday. The cloud was looked very dark and sinister, but there were lots of gaps in it, and all through the day the sun kept managing to shone through those gaps. It made the day feel nice and warm - perhaps warmer than the maximum of 19° C forecast, and maybe actual. A lot of the time it did look like it would rain, and every revision of the forecast made some attempt to predict when it might rain, but it stayed dry all day.
                      very dull day that has started off bright !
  The forecast for today is very similar to the forecasts for yesterday except today no rain is predicted. If today is like yesterday it will be a good day. The forecast, like yesterday's, has already started wrong. As I write this I can feel warm sunshine on my back. Looking to the south west I can see lots of blue sky. To the north rather less blue sky.
view north with a
                        patch or two of blue sky visible
 It's much easier to take a photo of the sky to the north through the bathroom window. To the south would mean taking the picture through glass, or going out onto the road, but I am not dressed for that. To the north you can see the houses on the left lit up with brilliant sunshine, just like the picture I took yesterday morning, but in this picture a few patches of blue sky are visible, and the clouds looks far less dense than yesterday. This seems quite unlike what the forecast is trying to tell us !

   It is possible that reality may catch up with the forecast later, but I shall remain blindly optimistic that sunny priods will pop up all through the day. Once again the maximum temperature is predicted to be 19° C, and that should feel warm again. Tomorrow is currently forecast to be the same as today, and once again reality may be different. The forecast for the day after, Friday, is currently looking good. It could even be good enough for another trip to the seaside !
a longer walk than
  I walked a bit further than the day before when I went out yesterday. I also walked a little faster, but not by much. The route I took was partly determined by circumstances. Initially I took the same route I used to take, including picking up a copy of The Metro in the hospital, to meet Angela in the park. I waited in there for about 15 minutes for her. To pass the time I did most of the easy crossword in The Metro, and for some of the time I was bathed in warm sunshine. By 1.15pm there was no sign of Angela, and I decided to move on. It was a long shot, but I thought I would check in The Jolly Farmers pub to see if she was in there, and also to ask if they had seen her recently. The bar maid said she would occasionally see Angela walk past, but she hadn't been in for ages - possibly since the last time we were in there together.

  Another possibility was that Angela had gone to The Fox And Firkin - which I know she has visited in the past. I stayed for one pint of Guinness in The Jolly Farmers, and timed my exit so that I should have passed Angela going back to work if she had been drinking in The Fox And Firkin, but I never saw her. I decided to continue walking along the main road until I came to Cash Converters. In there window was an interesting lens said to be for a Canon camera. If it was labelled correctly it was an 18 to 90mm zoom lens.

  I can't find anything exactly like that with a brief search on the internet, but that doesn't mean such a lens doesn't exist, although it hints very strongly that it doesn't. It could be that it has been mislabelled, or it is a grey import, or maybe even a limited edition lens, but one thing is for sure - if it is as labelled it would be a very handy lens for me to have, and at £40 it is very cheap. I think I need to take a camera along with me today to test it, and see if it works OK.
an Ofo bike parked in
                        a strange place
  Seen on my walk through Ladywell Fields - an Ofo bike parked in a strange place. Unlike the last one I saw that was dumped saddleless over a fence at Catford station, this one seems intact, and ready for it's next rider. It is a mystery to me why this bike has been left in the park, but I suppose it has to be left somewhere after use, and it should be broadcasting it's location from it's inbuilt GPS receiver so it shows up on the Ofo app for mobile phones.
Ladywell Fields -
                        north entrance
  After looking in Cash Converters I re-entered the park to walk home from the north/Ladywell Road entrance. At that point the clouds looked very dark and threatening, and yet the sun was shining brightly, and casting a fairly dark shadow. In the picture above the sun would be just outside the picture on the top right.
favourite pond dried
  While walking back through the park I was a little saddened to see that my favourite pond had dried up. I'm not sure why it is my favourite pond, but I did meet Patricia there once. It is actually classed as a backwater rather than a pond, and is filled by a short channel from the river. There seemed plenty of water in the river, and I can only conclude that the channel was blocked with fallen leaves and other detritus. Maybe it will be manually cleaned out, or rely on the flow after some heavy rainfall to clear the blockage.

  One of the good things about yesterday's walk is that my chest gave me very little trouble, and one of the potentially bad things is that my left hip seemed to be starting to get sore by the time I got home. Originally it was my right hip that gave a few painful jolts over a year ago, but has given no trouble since taking regular fish oil capsules. I hope my left hip is not going to start playing up.

  I arrived home at about 2.30pm yesterday, and I was feeling hungry after not eating anything beforehand. I tamed the worst of it with a few bags of crisps - baked ones so a little less bad for least I think they were baked. It wasn't all that long to wait until dinner time, and the time seem to pass quite quickly. I kept myself amused by editing the few photos I had taken, readings some stuff on the internet, and reading the book I am currently reading. When the time came I ordered a takeaway.

  A takeaway was a bit of an extravagance, but my fridge was just about empty. I fancied something different, and decided on some Indian food. It was more luck than judgement that some of what I ordered could almost be called healthy. In particular was a chicken shaslick. I thought it would come in a sauce, but the restaurant I ordered from just served it as grilled (tandooried) chicken with grilled tomato, onion, and bell pepper. It was almost fat free, and had no overt carbohydrates in it. That wasn't all I ate, but it was a good start.

  The big problem with that Indian food was that the spices made me feel very warm last night. It was the classic problem of it feeling too cold without the duvet, and far too warm under the duvet. I think that must be the explanation for the lousy sleep I had last night. I seemed to keep waking up from endless dreams - many of which seemed quite weird. All the tossing and turning I did last night may have set my chest/rib cage off again. I went to bed after a day of my rib cage hardly bothering me, and woke up with an ache across the very top of my chest. It seems to be clearing now, and I hope it gives no trouble later on.

  Today I should theoretically be quite busy for a while. Once I have showered and washed my hair I will go to the surgery and hand in a repeat prescription request. That is going to throw the cat among the pigeons because I am now passed the review date for my medication, and they will want me to see a doctor - but will probably make it difficult to get an appointment - possibly too difficult to even bother trying.

  Once I have handed in my repeat prescription request I will go around the corner to get some shopping in Aldi. I think I fancy some fish from there - as well as lots of other stuff. Once that it all safely stored away at home, and possibly after a short rest, I will grab a Canon camera and make my way to Cash Converters to check the lens I saw yesterday. I don't know whether to walk there via the park where I could bump into Angela, or to be lazy and get a bus. I guess it might depend on the time when I am ready to leave. One thing I must do this afternoon is to fill up the brown wheelie bin with twigs and weeds and stuff ready for collection tomorrow morning.
Tuesday 2nd October 2018
09:26 BST

   Yesterday morning started off rather cool, but strong sunshine did it's best to warm the day up. It ended up at 14° C, but in the sunshine it felt much warmer than that. The non stop sunshine gave way to sunny periods during the afternoon, but it seemed like the ratio of sunshine to gloom was heavily in sunshine's favour. At sunset the temperature slowly dropped away. The weather girl on TV said it would not be as cold as the previous night, but I disagree. It seemed cold last night.
a dull
  The forecast continues the idea that last night was not very cold, and suggests the temperature at 8am this morning should be 13° C. Maybe it is just me, but it feels rather chillier than that. It would not be the first error in the forecast. It neglects to mention the sunshine we have just had - albeit accompanied by the forecast grey clouds !
bright sunshine from a
                        heavily clouded sky
 I present the above picture as evidence of the brilliant sunshine lighting up the buildings on the left while the sky behind looks dull and threatening. The latest revision of the forecast says that there is a chance of rain coming up soon, but it shouldn't last for long, and it will be the only predicted shower today. It does seem feasible when considering the state of the clouds in one direction, but also unlikely considering the sun has just popped out again. No sunshine at all is predicted for today. Sometimes it might be lightly grey, and sometimes very grey, but the temperature could reach 19° C this afternoon. At the moment it is forecast that tomorrow will be almost identical to the forecast for today (which may not match reality).

  It turned out that I did feel better yesterday morning compared to the previous couple of days, but better was not best. Nevertheless I just had to get out into the bright sunshine. I took a chance that it would feel OK without a coat, and it did, although when walking in the shade of houses or tress it did feel a little cool. In the direct sunshine it felt very nice though.
glorious blue sky
 There were a few clouds in the sky yesterday morning, and you can count most of them in this picture above ! Standing there with the hot feeling sun on my back, as I took this photo, felt delicious.
leaves starting to
                        turn brown
  It was mostly green in the park, but some trees were starting to take on their autumn colours.
moon visible
 If you know where to look the moon can be seen during the day at any time of the year, but it does feel like it is more visible in spring and autumn. In this picture it is above the tree in the centre of the picture, and it is about half full. As the three previous pictures suggest, my walk was mostly through the park, but as the map shows, it was through the lower half of the park. There was an unrealised reason for this.
I don't think I
                        expected to walk that far
 My original thought was that I might continue my walk into the Pool River Linear Park (which would be just off the bottom of this map). As I reached Catford station I was quite surprised as to how far I had walked. On top of that it seemed like my rib cage was getting twitchy, and so I decided to curtail my walk, and head back home via the Turkish Supermarket shop. I bought a couple of bottles of Diet Coke from there plus four pots of assorted bean type salads.

  Those salads became my main meals of the day, and I know from past experience that they contained quite moderate amounts of calories (although I was relying on 3+ year old memories of when I was eating them at work during one of the periods when I was losing some weight - I didn't re-check them yesterday). I aimed to have a healthy sort of day. Of course I failed on a couple of counts. One count was the juicy plums I also bought from that supermarket. They were much better than the plums form, say, Tesco, but even though they were just very slightly unripe they still probably had a lot of natural sugar in them. I also ate a few bags of crisps ! On the other hand, for what ever difference it might have made, drunk nothing but chilled tap water all day.

  One curious fact before I forget it. I shared that map on social media, and it got a "like" from Angela. There could be several interpretations for that. One might be that she was applauding my healthiness, but I don't recall her liking any of my seaside walks recently. The other possibility is that she was glad I hadn't intruded into her park on my walk - which I might have easily done. Maybe I might do that today !

  I did little of consequence yesterday afternoon and evening. I did some reading, and I tried several times to have a snooze. I scanned some photos, and I spent a little time eating. It doesn't sound much, and in a way, it wasn't. I did feel slightly bored yesterday. Maybe it was the sunshine and fresh air that was calling to me. I almost contemplated going out in the late afternoon to visit Angel Road station - a project that I mentioned yesterday - but I seem to have some reluctance going out after a certain time. I think it is a legacy of work - late afternoon, or even early-ish afternoon means only one thing - home time, and that is the only direction I want to travel.

  I was in bed by 9pm last night, and it didn't take long to fall asleep. I slept well for at least four hours, and then I had a dream that completely perplexed me. Even weird dreams seem like some sort of reality - maybe like watching something on TV - but the dream I had seemed to take weird to a new level. I can no longer adequately describe it, but at the time it kept me awake for about half an hour trying to work out what was going on. All I can remember now is that is concerned a wooden boat afloat in a bathtub shaped pool. It might even have been a bathtub. There were several inlet, or outlet pipes, and somehow these represented people. I think they were Angela, lover boy, and Sue. The only other thing I can remember was using a plastic jug to bail bail out the boat or the tub. I just can't remember if I was filling the boat from the tub, or the other way around. There was obviously a lot of symbology in the dream that makes no sense, and what the boat was a metaphor for is also a complete mystery.

  I woke up, and half got up at 7am this morning. By that time I should have had plenty of sleep. I seemed to feel mostly OK, but I felt greedy for more sleep. After a while I got back into bed more because I could than because I needed to. I didn't expect to sleep much, if at all, and so I was rather surprised to notice the clock said it was just after 9am when I opened my eyes again ! When I first woke up I felt stiff and creaking, and pretty awful, but now, an hour later, I seem to feel OK - ish.

  I think I have a sort of plan for today, but it will depend on it not raining, and probably depend on continuing unscheduled sunny spells. I think I am going out for another local walk, and this time I will venture into Angela's park. If I see her I will present her with her spare electric toothbrush that I have carefully kept here since the days when it was possible that she might have stayed here overnight. It came close a few times, but I don't think it ever happened. It did happen the other way around, and it is possible that somewhere in Angela's house is my spare toothbrush. Happy days.

  I am unsure what I might do this afternoon, but ideally it should be something to distract me from food. My frideg is almost empty, but I do have a cupboard full of junk food. Maybe I should go a supermarket and stock up on less junky food. It would probably be best of all to not be at home, but I doubt I can manage that when the sky is so grey - unless these unscheduled sunny spells lengthen, and keep going through the afternoon !
Monday 1st October 2018
08:21 BST

   It felt quite cool yesterday, but it was probably sunnier than the forecast said it would be.....although on reflection, maybe it wasn't. It is easier to remember the morning when it was nice and sunny with lots of blue sky, but my mind just tends to want to blank the afternoon when thick cloud seemed to roll in and turn the next bit of the day exceedingly grey. What does confuse me is whether it brightened up again later in the afternoon. I think it did, but I wasn't really paying any attention to the outside world at that point. The highest temperature was predicted to be 15° C, and that was about right. In the sunshine it was still t-shirt weather, but once the sun went in it felt rather chilly.
                      morning, dull afternoon
  It is very sunny as I write this, but it is also very chilly. The forecast temperature is 9° C, but on the north side of the house, the temperature may still be a few degrees lower, and that cold air is blowing into my bathroom. It feel damn cold in there, and I may have to close the window soon. There should be sunshine for most of today. The morning should see non stop sunshine, but from then on it will be just sunny intervals. The sunshine should make the predicted highest temperature of just 14° C more bearable. Tomorrow could be warm at 19 or 20° C, but it seems it is likely to be a depressingly grey day.....and then it gets worse !

  There was one thing I had to do yesterday, and I didn't like doing it....which sort of make me wonder why I did do it ! I had four CAMRA vouchers that gave 50p off the price of a pint of real ale in Wetherspoons pubs, and they were due to expire yesterday. So I forced myself to go to the local Wetherspoons here in Catford. I wasn't feeling great, and that made it even less enjoyable than going to the pub on my own. I took along a magazine to keep me company, and that kept me amused long enough to have three pints. I could probably have forced a fourth pint down to use up the last voucher, but I would probably have thrown up if I did.
3 different beers
  These are the three beers I drank yesterday, and from left to right, the order that I drank them in. The Twickenham "Autumn Red" initially tasted a bit sharp, but it became almost enjoyable once I had drunk beyond the first half. The British Bulldog from the Westerham brewery was enjoyable from the second sip onwards. Finally there was the Green King IPA. I can only sum it up as horrible ! It was hard work trying to finish my pint, and it, more than anything else, put me off going for a fourth pint.

  When I left the pub I crossed the main road, and went into the Poundworld shop. There was nothing I particularly wanted, but I still managed to come away from there with a bag full of this and that. The best buy was probably the Marmite flavoured rice cakes, Rice cakes are supposed to be very low in calories, and all the other stuff I ought to avoid, but I neglected to check the label to confirm they hadn't accidently sneaked in a barrel full of sugar. The worst thing was probably the crisps, but there were actually several worst things !

   When I got home, with several pints of beer swilling through my blood stream, I felt very peckish, and in need of some lunch. That lunch should have been a small fish ready meal, and it did include it, but it didn't seem to satisfy - which was a shame as it was supposed to be a healthy, calorie controlled, ready meal. I think it derived it's low calorie status by being very small. So I padded it out with some of the stuff I had bought in Poundworld.

  For the rest of the afternoon, and into the evening, I did very little. I spent a fair time laying on my bed, mostly with a book in hand, feeling ill. My wonky rib cage had been playing up a lot, and various movements would add some unwanted pains to a background of mild aching. Later on I would make it worse by getting acid indigestion. I managed that by checking some "best before" dates on some stuff in the fridge. I had three small ready meals, at least one of which was supposed to be frozen, but I lacked any space for it in the freezer. All were on, or very close to their use by date.

  One was a curious almost snack like meal of sweet potato mash with a few slim slivers of chorizo in it. I think it was supposed to be a side dish, and I guess that is almost how I used it. Another item was a very small fish pie. This was the meal that was supposed to be kept frozen. So I cooked that and ate it too. The last item could have been kept for today, and probably the day after. It appeared to be a small shepherds pie, but once I started eating it I realised it was bigger than I thought - enough for a meal by itself if truth be told.

  I felt rather bloated after eating all that....but that's what hangovers do to you ! To make matters worse I started to suffer from acid indigestion, and that added another pain in my chest. It made it feel like I was teetering on the edge of a heart attack. Intellectually I knew I wasn't, but the feelings do play on the less controlled bits of the mind. I distracted myself from this discomfort by watching a DVD I had bought in Poundland. It was Bill Bailey from his 2008 tour called Tinselworm, and recorded live at Wembley. It was very enjoyable !

  It was hard to relax enough to get to sleep last night, but I managed it. I woke up too many times to say I had slept well, and yet between those times I seemed to sleep quite deeply. It wasn't until later this morning that I remember dreaming, and it is possibly a good sign, although annoying, that I can't seem to remember a single bit of any dream. This morning I am up a bit earlier than usual because the bright sunshine lighting up the curtains (that are still closed) seemed to be beckoning to me.

  As usual, I can't seem to evaluate how I feel this morning. I have been yawning a lot since thinking about it. Maybe a few more hours of sleep might be good, but alternatively some fresh air might be what I need. I am aware that many bits of my chest still feel tender, and would seem to be easy to provoke, but I am generally comfortable as I sit here writing. I'll be having a shower soon (in the freezing cold bathroom), and I'll re-evaluate how I feel after that.

  I hope I feel good enough to go out today. I don't feel the weather is right for any seaside visits, although today could be about the last semi-reasonable day until next spring at the earliest. Plus I don't fancy any long walks until I can be sure my rib cage has settled down. One thing I might do is to visit Angel Road station. This station, just a couple of stops from Stratford station, is a very lightly used station, and it is very lightly used  not only because it seems to be bounded by busy roads and and industrial estates, but because it has a lousy train service. The significant thing is that it is due to be replaced by a new, and better situated station next year. Getting a comprehensive series of snaps of it from all angles is something I would like to do, and maybe I might do it today, but it all depends on how I feel after my shower, and when I am dressed. There is also the factor that there is a very long gap between the trains that call at Angel Road. Basically it is just a morning and evening rush hour service, with nothing in between. So I will have to expect to be feeling good at approx 4.30pm when the first evening rush hour services stop there !