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January 2020 February 2020

Friday 7th February 2020
09:08 GMT
  The sky was clear blue for all the daylight hours yesterday, and the sun was shining brightly. Indoors, where it was shining through my front windows, it seemed like a summer day. Outside it was rather different ! It was still very much like winter with the temperature possibly not reaching much higher than 6° C. The forecast said it would be 8° C.
another frosty start

  After the clear sky it is no surprise that this morning has started with a thick frost. I currently have three working outdoor temperature sensors, and they can't agree on the temperature. They say 1.1°, 1.6°, and 2.5° C.  All of them say that it is currently colder than the 4° C in the forecast. The forecast gets one thing right - it is gloriously sunny again. It should stay sunny at least until mid afternoon, and then gathering cloud will reduce it to just sunny intervals until sunset. The cloud is apparently going to get thick tonight, and that will keep some heat in. From just after midday the temperature is supposed to be 9° C. After a small dip it will rise again to 11° C by midnight. That was supposed to be the start of the gale force winds and rain that was blowing in from across the Atlantic ocean, but the weather warning for those winds is now only predicted to be on Sunday. Tomorrow may only see light winds, and light clouds. There might even be sunny intervals in the middle of tomorrow.

  I didn't go out for any exercise yesterday, but I did go out in the late afternoon for drinking purposes. I spent most of my day, prior to going out, doing just two things. One was to finish the job, as far as I can, clearing, cleaning, and tidying the bookshelves, and under the bookshelves in the back room. I am left with three heavy things that I can't dump in the wheelie bin (although maybe one will at a squeeze). I am hoping the man who gave two of them to me will take them away again.

  After dumping a few things in the wheelie bin, it was time to get out another bowl of soapy water, and also the hoover. I was pleased to find no signs of mice behind the stuff on the floor when I moved it. Maybe it was packed in too tightly even for tiny house mice. It still needed a good hoovering though. One of the last shelves to be tidied needed a damp cloth over it to get rid of dust, as did a few books. Among those books were my school issued bible and common prayer book - both from 1967 when mainstream education still hadn't quite divorced itself from stories about sky fairies.

  The other thing that needed a good wash was under the window of the back room. I had already cleaned the window glass of dust and stuff on the inside. I had also cleaned the outside of the glass too. The paintwork on the inside came up fairly well once a layer of nicotine was washed off. The windowsill needed a bit of a scrub after tears of muddy cat paws had left their mark. Yesterday I washed the wall below the window, and also the skirting board. Both also had suffered from muddy cat paws over many years.

  Ideally the window frame could do with a coat of fresh paint, but it will do for now. The bookshelves are now clean, and if I spent time to sort the books and stuff so their heights or depth matched better, I could say that job is done. Essentially I have now done all four corners of the room. Now it just remains to make some sort of sense to the middle of the room. Unfortunately that includes stuff that was once in the corners, and is stuff I can't throw away - stuff like tools !

  I ended up spending lots more time playing with the old Dell laptop I am trying to rehabilitate. It is with hindsight that I realised I have made a tragic mistake. I installed an earlier version of Linux Mint Debian Edition, and yesterday was taken up doing literally thousands of updates. I think the first batch was something like 1059 files needed updating. There was a second batch of a similar amount that couldn't be done until the first was finished. When it had all finished I found that the sound card had not been detected. I came to the conclusion it would actually have been quicker to try a live CD of an up to date version, and if the sound worked on that, to just install that as a fresh installation. Maybe I will do that today.

  As 4pm approached it was time to get my coat, and walk to the station to get a train to Shortlands for my Thursday drinking session. It was an interesting test of my health, and the results were inconclusive in the extreme, or at least in a silly way. It seemed hard work to walk to the station, and yet going up the final three flights of steps to get to the platform didn't significantly slow me down. I wasn't even close to being out of breath at the top, but it still felt like a monumental struggle to get there. The silly thing is that it seems I broke another speed record getting there. I had no intention of rushing there, and I didn't need to, but it seems I couldn't seem to slow myself down. I had to wait nearly 10 minutes before my train arrived. I like to get there with just a few minutes to spare. At least it gave time to take a bit of video.

  The point of this video was to show just how clear the sky was. As I said earlier, if it had not been for the temperature being so low, it could have been a summers evening. As I (jerkily) pan around after the train has left, the sun is hidden by a tree, but it is fairly obvious that it is still well above the horizon. It was not due to set for another 50 minutes yesterday, but on this day last month it would have set 20 minutes earlier, and I would have been videoing in the dark.

  I didn't notice that my neighbour Michael had got on the front of the train I got. As we approached Shortlands he walked through the train to find me. (I always try to be near a door that opens closest to the exit of a station - unless I am deliberately "trainspotting").  I then had to keep my walking speed down to match Michael as we walked to the pub. Michael had decided to come on the spur of the moment, and hadn't really eaten much during the day. He said he felt like the beer was going to his head after two pints, and left before me. I stayed for my typical three pints, and got a train about half an hour or so after Michael.

  I stopped off at Sainsburys on my way home from the station. It was still quite busy in there, and if there was any reduced priced stuff, it had all gone when I got there - except for one cheese on brown bread sandwich. I grabbed that, plus some Greek salads and two ready meals. I then rushed home...although maybe not as fast as I had rushed to the station earlier. I had bought the ready meals because I was unsure what I wanted to have for dinner when I got in.

  I didn't touch the ready meals last night, but I did have two Greek salads. By themselves they are quite healthy, but I added stuff. I added some diced cheddar cheese to one, and a small can of spam to the other. Both had added mayonnaise to definitely kill any healthiness ! I also ate that cheese sandwich. I finished off with a sort of "sweet". It was about 10 sugar free "Maria" biscuits. I have no idea what a "Maria" biscuit is, but it was not dissimilar to a rich tea biscuit apart from one huge difference. That difference may have been exaggerated by the biscuits being fairly old (although still sealed in a cellophane wrapping) - they tasted like cardboard. Perhaps the artificial sweetener was breaking down or something, but I think I am going to dump the rest of the packet regardless.

  I was in bed, and probably asleep by 10pm last night. I am reluctant to say I slept well this morning despite my sleep not being too dissimilar to the night before that I did describe as good. Last night there was a time when I was awake for maybe 20 minutes in the night, but other times when I got up for a wee seem almost as hazy as dreams - and I had a lot of dreams. Maybe most were towards morning, but I did have one very strange dream much earlier in the night. It was a dream where the visual looks almost like something you might see on TV - different angles, and jump cuts between them.

  The core idea of this strange dream was that at what would be the Ladywell end of the park there were 4 chillies growing in a square formation, and at exactly the right size to use some sort of mining tool to harvest or collect them. It is hard to describe more because I don't think anything actually happened in this dream. I know it involved Michael, but I didn't actually see him, and I can only recall a sort of aerial picture of the chillies. It was a dream that was all ideas, and no action.

  A later dream involved several smooth transitions through different realities. I now know that it was obviously a string of small dreams one after another. I can remember the first, or how I came to be walking down my road. It was the road I lived in as child, and although I was older, maybe even present age, it was set in the 1960s when the entire terrace of houses were due for demolition. Like in real life, my house was the last to be lived in. It was rather more extreme than in real life because the other houses had been bricked up rather than just boarded up. As I entered my house it transformed into a different interior.

  I don't think I actually recognised the interior, although it felt like home. There were two cats there who may have been the cats from my mums house. It wasn't long before the first weirdness happened. It seems there were two medium sized green birds flying free in my bedroom. They were bigger, but similar to budgies, but smaller than typical pigeons. After a while, and probably in another dream, I noticed it was already a few minutes past 2pm, and I should have been back at work. I thought it would be better if I let the birds out into the garden while I was at work.

  That was when two more birds appeared. One was a brilliant blue, and the other was a duller brown. I took the brown one to the open window, and it looked out and saw it was raining. It looked at me and said there was no way it was going out in that ! It said in a sort of less screechy parrot voice. It then flew over to a settee that was now in the room, and started taunting one of the cats by meowing at it. It apparently had no fear of the cat, and the cat just meowed back. Maybe they were having a conversation that I could not understand. I think the dream just faded out after that.

  This morning I calculate that I must have had close to 9 hours sleep, and I think I feel OK for it. The bright sunshine is very cheery again. It might be a good day. I am also happy to say that my blood glucose level didn't take much of a hit after the beer, sandwich, and sugar free (but still carbohydrate heavy) biscuits. It was a fairly typical 7.4. I hope I can get it lower than that once warmer weather arrives, but it if fine for now.

  Today I will go out for a bit of exercise to stretch my legs. It is mostly because today is the day that Angela suggested we might meet again at lunchtime. I hope she is still able to do it. At some point I want to go shopping in Iceland - mainly because they stock (or did last time) a fair selection of sugar free biscuits. The plain digestives don't taste too bad. The wafers, vanilla or chocolate, are sort of nice, and the chocolate biscuits are pretty good, but maybe too tempting.

  Tonight it would be nice if I can find the energy and enthusiasm to go to a gig. MT Pockets are playing at the Railway Tavern by Bexley station. On the plus side it is not that bad to get to - probably the simplest is a bus to Lee station, and then it is 5 stops down the line. On the negative side it is a small, and crowded pub. Once I lose my place at the front - assuming I can get there early enough to claim prime position - I might just as well go home again. If I do go I am not really expecting to be there for more than an hour or so anyway.