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January 2020 February 2020

Monday 10th February 2020
08:26 GMT
  The rain wasn't quite as forecast for yesterday. Most of the rain was often quite light, and there may have been some periods when it didn't rain, but there were times when the rain came down in torrents ! The wind was not quite what I expected either. It often seemed quite calm, and then the peace would be shattered by a powerful gust of wind - or several of them. In such conditions the temperature was almost irrelevant, but it was probably somewhere near the 14° C that was forecast for the afternoon.
bright sunshine - at the moment

  There are still some medium strong gusts of wind, but this morning is in complete contrast to yesterday. At the moment the sky is blue, and the sun is shining. It seems that that the sunshine will give way to just sunny spells by 10am, and by midday the sky will be cloudy once again. That may produce some light showers until gone sunset, but the rest of the day should stay dry. It is going to be a cold day with an afternoon temperature of just 8° C. Maybe it could be less because the temperature is currently a degree less than the 7° C forecast for now. Tomorrow should see sunshine or sunny intervals from dawn to dusk, but once again it is probably going to be quite a cold day with a maximum of just 8° C.

  I could almost say that being a Sunday, yesterday was a day of rest, but I think a day without much going on would be a better description. One factor changed the nature of the day. To my surprise I found I was awaiting for not just one, but three small parcels to be delivered. All items were ordered at the same time, and were originally due to come as one order. Quite why they were split up is a mystery. Until they arrived I had to remain on high alert so I didn't miss the Amazon courier.

  I wasn't expecting the delivery to take place until after 1pm, and so I guess I could relax a bit until then, but I didn't because I started doing what would keep me occupied for the rest of the afternoon - playing with old laptops. My delivery finally arrived quite close to 5pm - quite late for a Sunday. It was nothing that exciting - a couple of memory cards, a SD card to PCMCIA (PC Card) adapter, and 4 (I'm sure I only ordered 2) micro SD card to Memory Stick Duo adapters.

  The micro SD card to Memory Stick adapters are very flimsy things - they have to be - there is not a lot of space in a Memory Stick slot. The only thing I use, and then only occasionally, that uses a Sony Memory Stick is a Sony camera. Other Sony stuff I own can take either Memory Stick or SD card. New Memory Sticks are rather expensive - if you can actually find any ! The adapter is a much cheaper option, but as I found out the hard way, they are incredibly easy to damage if you don't take care. I busted one, but had a spare. I thought another spare might be useful. I ordered 2 and somehow seemed to have ordered 4 - 2 each from two different suppliers. Oh well, I'm sure they will be useful one day.

  The laptop that soaked up so much of my time yesterday was another Dell - an Inspiron 2500. It uses the same chassis as the 8100 I have been playing with, but is a lower spec model. There are two other important differences. The first is that the slot loading DVD drive I bought years ago, works in this lower spec laptop, and the battery works. I doubt the battery would have much of a life, but it is certainly good enough to survive a 10 to 20 minute power cut. That could possibly make it useful as some sort of low power server with it's own, built in, uninterruptable power source.

  It means I could probably use it in place of the Toshiba laptop that is currently my web server. The Toshiba machine is a more powerful machine, and could be used as a more general purpose machine. I may  do some experiments to see if that Dell Inspiron 2500 is up to being a web server (and FTP client so I can upload web pages to it). One thing I do know is that it doesn't seem to have enough resources to run the latest, very bloated, Firefox web browser. I noted that the other Dell laptop, which is slightly more powerful, can't run the latest Firefox either. Both may get an old version installed instead.

  One thing I tried to do yesterday was to eat a bit more carefully because I have been eating too much recently. I must admit that I had an almost proper breakfast - purely because it was a Sunday. It was grilled/oven cooked sausages and giant mushroom. I think the mushrooms probably soaked up a fair bit of fat, but I did pour a lot away.  Dinner was almost a low calorie/low sugar meal. It was diced beef (actually a chopped up steak) cooked in beef stock with plenty of what I think was savoy cabbage and a few spring onion, and red chilli peppers. Had I trimmed off the fat it would have been healthier, but I didn't - I wanted to retain the flavour.

  It was lunch that involved an unknown variable. I ate 6 or 7 "sugar free" chocolate digestive biscuits. While they are not cooked with any sugar, they are still baked from flour, and that is carbohydrate, and the enzyme Amylase (if I recall it's name correctly) converts carbohydrate to glucose in the body. To make matters worse, I had more of those biscuits after my dinner in the evening. This morning I had hoped my blood glucose may have been lower, perhaps under 7, but it was 7.4. That is about average, but sooner or later I would like to get the average down to under 7. That would allow an occasional treat.

  By soon after 5pm I got the Dell laptop configured and working as well as it can work, and decided to leave it there for now. By 6pm I was eating my dinner, and by 7pm I was feeling a bit bored. I started thinking of what I might do today. I had an idea that of I could get up early enough, and more importantly get ready to go out early enough, I could jump on a train to Southend, and take some pictures of the sea still being lashed by some strong winds. I would then attempt to get back in time to meet Angela in the pub at 1pm - if she is able, or desires to go to the pub today.

  I did go to bed quite early last night, but getting to sleep early was another thing. I turned the light out before 9pm, but I think it might have been closer to 10pm when I fell asleep. There was one indicator that I probably got a good sleep, and maybe one that suggested otherwise. It is my opinion that I tend to remember dreams, albeit usually in poor detail, if I am not sleeping well, and last night I feel sure I was having one dream after another.

  Like many serial dreams, they were connected, but otherwise different from each other - unless jump cuts, like you get on TV and movies, that change the location of the action, actually happen in dreams too. One common thread through several dreams concerned a river bank. It was obviously inspired by the river that runs through the park. In the dream there was one side of the river that was difficult to access. The river itself was obviously one problem to cross, but on the far bank there was a railway line, maybe 100 - 200 yards from the river, that cut off access from that direction.

  I don't know how, but I knew a way to cross to the strip of land. Some of, or one of the first dreams, was about exploring that difficult to access place. Another dream, if it wasn't a continuation of the first, had me placing some electronic equipment on this strip of land. I am not sure what this equipment was. It could have been a pirate radio transmitter, but it looked nothing like one, or it could have been a trail camera, but it didn't look like one of those either - but it was on a tripod.

  The next episode/scene/dream was being caught by a park ranger, and taken to sort of office. I felt quite relaxed about it because I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. I explained I was simply recording birdsong. This satisfied the ranger, and he got a member of staff to escort me back to the tripod, and what looked like a Philips cassette recorder mounted on it. I was then escorted back to the other side of the river (but I don't know how we crossed the river).

  I don't know if the last bit of dream I had was related to these earlier dreams, but there was a sort of continuity. My escort was a flame haired woman, and we ended up on a train together. As we travelled we talked and got to know each other. There seemed to be some sort of mutual attraction, and as is so often the case, just as things started getting interesting I woke up !

  It was quite early, around 6am, and it was obvious I had had enough enough sleep because no matter how I tried, I could not fall asleep again. I was really hoping to meet that woman again in another dream, but after an hour of thrashing around, trying every sleeping position known to man, I had to admit defeat and start getting up. Since then I have been trying to predict how I might use today.

  Time seems to be flying by, and I doubt I could get to Southend and back this morning, and so I'll have to miss out on photographing a stormy sea today. What I can do is to take my camera for a walk around the park. I might try for an extended walk and see what storm damage I can see. I might also spend a fair bit of time tempting squirrels with some assorted nuts. I think we are now in the period where squirrels get hungry waiting for new growth on trees and stuff. Maybe I can get a few to pose for me, and if the sun can stay out, there might be enough light for a few good snaps.

  I intend to be in the pub at 1pm. I am not sure if Angela will be there or not. I am sensing a few worries from her about Valentines day. I note that she has suddenly replaced pictures of cats or her daughter, with pictures of her and lover boy on social media. That's a bit sad. At least it makes me feel a little sad. I am thinking of just going to the pub without telling Angela and see if she just turns up. Oh well, I'll make some sort of decision while I am walking in the park.