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January 2020 February 2020

Tuesday 4th February 2020
09:10 GMT
  Yesterday started out as if it was going to be bright, and there were even a few short periods of hazy sunshine, but the forecast sunny intervals didn't seem to happen. The temperature during the middle of the day was 11° C, but there was quite a cold wind blowing that made it feel a lot cooler (there may have also been another reason why I thought it felt cooler than 11° C. During late evening it did cool down a lot, and for a while it seemed like we were heading for a frost in the morning.
a bright morning
  This morning the temperature had started to rise again, and there was no frost, but it is still going to be a rather cool day with the temperature only expected to peak at 10° C. It has been sunny this morning, although it is slightly hazy sunshine. The latest revision to the forecast has the last sunny interval at midday, and after that it will be lightly overcast for the rest of the day. The worst change is that now it is predicted that the afternoon temperature will only be 9° C. Clear skies in the night are predicted to make for a very cold, 3° C, morning tomorrow. That is almost cold enough for a frost. The whole day is going to be cold with the temperature not expected to rise beyond 8° C. On the plus side, it may be sunny like today.

  One of the first things I did yesterday was to go to Poundstretcher. I bought an assortment of things from there, including yet more flower seeds. I felt a bit creaky walking to Poundstretcher, and the walk home felt a bit worse. I attributed that to two things. I was wearing shoes that are sometime very comfortable, and sometime not. Yesterday they were not. I had also bought things like cans of soup, and jars of pickles. Combined with other stuff, it made my rucksack quite heavy. I expected walking to be more enjoyable without the rucksack, and with better shoes.
another short walk
  I only had about half an hour before I did my "daily exercise". Before I went out I examined the underside of my right boot. That is the one that seemed to squeak, or even squelch when in the wet. I noted a short (1/4 inch or less) slit in the heel area. I was sure that was the source of those annoying noises. I decided to get a Stanley Knife, and cut it open. I found a small chip of glass in there. I removed that, and trimmed the flap either side back to the solid material. It wasn't a 100% cure, but it was a 95% cure. I think there may be another tiny hole somewhere. Fortunately the heel is thick enough that it can't easily be pierced, and the boot is still perfectly waterproof.

 My walk, even with my very comfy boots, and with no heavy rucksack, still felt like hard work. I wanted to aim for over 2 miles, but it was hard work trying to force myself to walk 1.52 miles. The sad thing is that there was not even a reward for it at the half way point. I messaged Angela to say I would be in the pub at the usual time. She replied with, initially, a maybe. Later on, actually just after 1pm, she sent another message to say she felt too tired to come out.

  I had just one pint of Guinness in the pub before continuing my walk. Even after a short rest, and a pint of Guinness I still had to push myself to not walk home by the shortest route. It could almost have been nice walking through the park. I saw many signs of spring, but I felt cold, and walking gave more pain than pleasure (not actually "pain", but bits did ache). On top of that the sun had long disappeared behind dark clouds. Later in the afternoon, as sunset approached, the sky took on that colour that suggests snow - which was unlikely when my thermometers said it was 10° C, but stranger things have happened.
Mandarin duck
  A possible sign of Spring ? I haven't seen the Mandarin duck for ages, possibly since the beginning of Autumn, but it, and it's mate, are back on the river now.
duck paddling up the
  I'll admit this picture loses something when shrunk to this size. The duck is not really the subject of this picture, but that was how it was intended to be. In the large, uncropped, version of this picture it is the patterns on the water that are the real subject, but for now it will just have to be the duck as the subject of this picture.
mini daffodils
  I can never remember if these are narcissus. I tend to call them mini-daffodils. It was surprising to seem them flowering. They are 6 to 8ft from the river, and probably within the area where the river slightly warms the soil, they were not in the shelter of a big tree that has helped some crocuses to flower elsewhere in the park.
flowers in St Mary's
                          Therapeutic Garden
  I feel there is some cheating going on in the "Therapeutic Garden" behind St Mary's Church. That wall does face approximately south, and will soak up and heat from the sun, but I feel sure these flowers were raised in a greenhouse, and planted out as soon as they were about to flower. It does give give a nice splash of colour that gives a feeling of what is to come once Spring is really under way.
  This daisy almost certainly is natural. I chose this one on it's own, rather than a few small clumps of them very close by.  Being so close to the ground may mean it gets some shelter from the cold winds, or perhaps it, and all it's nearby pals, just got bored waiting to flower, and just did it anyway.

  I felt tired when I got home from my walk. I had a late lunch of some salad with pork luncheon meat, and then lay on my bed to read. I was soon drifting off to sleep. I had left the heater on low, but I woke up almost shivering. I just could not seem to warm myself up. I didn't check it, but it felt like I had a fever. Some sort of bug could certainly explain when my walk seemed such a slog. It seemed a very good time to test some of dry soups I had bought.

  Having used a pint glass to check how much a pint of water filled the bowl I intended to use, I used three packets of chicken soup mixed, and poured on a pint of boiling water. With the addition of some hot pepper sauce, it was quite nice, and started warming me up. Those soup sachets were Tesco branded. I was curious as to what the Heinz soup sachets would be like. It seemed that only two sachets were needed to make a pint of Tomato, with a hint of basil, soup. I was quite disappointed with the taste. I seem to remember that those Heinz sachet boxes (of 5 sachets per box) were on special offer - probably 2 for about 75% the price of 2 individually. I think I might know why they wanted to clear their stocks.

  Two pints did warm me up, but it took a curry, several hours later, to make me feel almost hot. For whatever reason, yesterday evening was a bit dreamlike. I think one, maybe the main reason why was boredom. There was not enough going on to engage my concentration. I have no idea what time I went to bed, but I think it was probably not long after 9pm, and maybe was even before that.

  At first I seemed to sleep OK, but by 2am I had woken up feeling cold again. On top of that I could feel several sore ribs, and an ache over my whole chest. I ended up taking some Ibuprofen, and turning the heater on full. An hour or so later I managed to get back to sleep again, but it was touch and go. Every time I tried to sleep fully covered by my duvet I felt too hot, but worse than that was that I could not seem to find a position that was comfortable for my chest. I began to wonder if I was going to have to take a walk to hospital again, but the Ibuprofen eventually kicked in, and I became more comfortable.

  For the next 4 or 5 hours I woke quite frequently - sometimes from weird dream. Some dreams were of trying to find a toilet in what must have been a university. Another dream seemed to be about old Central Line tube cars being re-purposed as a space station ! I think I started getting up at about 8am, but originally I was thinking of going back to bed after doing my usual morning rituals, but that didn't happen.

  he good news is that even after eating so much yesterday, which included a small pack of sugar free vanilla wafers, my blood glucose was good this morning. It was about the average value I can usually achieve with on a small amount of effort (I hope to get it a fair bit lower during the warmer months when less food is needed). Even my weight has a chance of having dropped a tiny amount - although that does suppose that before the morning has finished I will have made at least one large deposit in the toilet (nothing has happen yet except wind).

  Today my one single plan is to go for another walk. I think there is a fair chance I will see Angela today, and that will make any discomfort worthwhile. I did get the impression that she was looking forward to today, but only on the proviso that she would get a good sleep last night. If I seem to feel OK after I have had a good shower I may try and walk the long way around to the pub. There is one possible fly in the ointment. I was feeling comfortable half an hour or so ago, and turned the heating off. Now I actually feel sort of a bit warm. This is either the menopause for men, or some more medical thing happening to me. I blame the Corona Virus.