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January 2020 February 2020

Tuesday 11th February 2020
08:16 GMT
  The sunshine didn't last long yesterday. By mid morning it had reduced to just sunny spells, but those sunny spells almost made it to midday. The afternoon started quite dull, and in another hour it was raining - cold, icy feeling rain ! That rain seemed to get a lot heavier, instead of stopping an hour or two after sunset. At approximately 6.30pm there was a loud clap of thunder. As far as I am aware there was just the one clap of thunder. I didn't see the lightning that caused it because it was actually over Shortlands, and it hit the railway signalling centre. That caused great disruption to the trains last night. The gale force winds that were forecast did sort of happen. There were a few strong gusts around the middle of the day, but they seemed almost minor compared to the day before.
bright, sunny, and very cold

  Last night the temperature seemed to be dropping quite low, and I was expecting frost this morning, or even snow if there was any precipitation, but this morning was not as cold as it was when the day started at midnight last night. This morning it is probably about 5° C, and the forecast says it should rise to 7° C. At the moment the sky is blue, and the sun is shining. The latest update to the forecast says the sunshine will now give way to sunny spells as early as 11am, but the sunny spells will continue through to sunset. The update also adds a bit of optimism to say the afternoon temperature may now reach 8° C. One other very curious feature is that it now says that at 9am there will be a 53% chance of precipitation while at the same time predicting clear skies, and bright sunshine - which is what I see out of my window.  more strong winds are expected for the first half of today. Tomorrow may start colder than today, and the afternoon may reach 9° C, but otherwise seems to be the same as today.
a 2.55 mile walk
  Yesterday was another good and bad day. The early sunshine made me determined to get a decent walk in, and as can be seen on the left, I managed to extend my walk to 2.55 miles. My target is for 3 miles or more, but 2.55 miles wasn't bad after not walking further than 1.52 miles for a week or two. Oddly enough it did feel quite easy going, but that may be because I was stopping a lot to take photos. The exception was the last half mile or so. That was when the rain that had started out as just a few spits and spots decided to start getting heavier. That rain felt really cold, and I am not so sure there wasn't some fine hail or sleet mixed in with it.

  The big disappointment was that Angela did not appear in the pub at lunchtime. Perhaps it was my own fault for not telling her I would be there, but there could be other reasons. I believe she took last Thursday and Friday off work, and may have been too busy yesterday as a result. The other explanation is something to do with lover boy. She has gone very quiet on social media, and that often indicates that she is spending more time with him. I doubt I will hear about it when I see Angela next because she keeps it all rather quiet, but I can always tell if she had a good time or a bad time - and it is usually bad !

  One thing I was expecting to see in the park was a lot of debris after the storm force winds, but there seemed to be very little. Maybe it is because the people who look after the park, on behalf of Lewisham Council, keep the trees well trimmed, and felled some of the older, and more precarious trees ages ago. In some ways it was disappointing that there was no record of what that great storm had done - although it did leave a big legacy in other places near and far.

tree or big branch
                          in the river
  I did spot one tree, or big branch in the river, but I suspect it came from further up the river - maybe from the Pool River Linear Park which is only slowly being tamed - while still trying to retain "natural" features.
shingle building up
                          after a small obstruction
 One unnatural feature of the river is a cast aluminium "log" that is on a pivot so it can move freely in the wind. It is barely visible in this picture because it has snagged a lot of debris floating down the river. In turn, that has caused a build up of shingle downstream of it. All it needs is some grass to take root in that shingle (and other plants and trees too), and a new island is born on the River Ravensbourne. As I wrote yesterday (or fairly recently), islands were always a fascination to me as a kid, and they still seem sort of cute now. It is probably because they can be so close, and yet so difficult to reach.
a robin on a post
  I must admit that robins are an easy small bird to take pictures of. They are curious, and so will watch you rather than fly off, and they often watch from near eye height.  Even so, I think this picture is one of my best pictures of robins.

  One of the other bad things about yesterday was that Guinness has gone up by 10p in the pub. That came on top of Angela not being there, and the cold rain on the way home. I felt the first spits of rain when I left the pub, but for a while it was mostly ignorable, and I took my time exploring some of the riverside. In particular I wanted to check the potential island forming near the north end of the park. The river was running fairly high after the rain the day before, but I noted that the new channel was still about a foot higher than the water level. It is going to take another huge deluge to get the water level high enough to start scouring that channel out, and eventually complete the process of it becoming an island.

  It wasn't long after getting back on the path that the rain started to get harder and harder. There were a few times that it turned into very heavy rain. Fortunately they were short lived because while I could do up my coat (which seemed easier than I remember it), it was not a very waterproof coat. In fact it was quite lightweight, and chose because it was sunny for the first 5 minutes of my walk. I started walk quite fast to get home quicker, and it was a joy to walk through my front door, and into the warm and dry. I looked forward to some hot food - ideally something healthy.
slimming world meal
nutritional values
 An Iceland "Slimming World" ready meal seemed like a good choice, but that was before I studied the nutritional information panel. On the surface it looks good, but it is sneaky. It only lists the information for a 100gm portion, and the meal, which I believe is a portion for one, is 550gm. All those figures have to be multiplied by 5.5 to find the true value of what you are about to eat. For instance 65 x 5.5 = 357.5 calories. That is probably not too bad for a snack. but the sugar content is unacceptably high for me. 3.1 x 5.5 = 17.05gm of sugar. That left it's mark on my blood glucose this morning.

  The rest of what I ate yesterday should have been low sugar, and mostly low calorie. For instance my dinner was little more than three chicken thighs cooked with half of what I think is a savoy cabbage (it came with no wrapping or label - I just grabbed it from the shelf without checking the shelf label). I did add extra flavour with a generous amount of harrisa paste. It is possible that had some sugar in it as well. I was quite conscientious about avoiding any extra sugar after that Slimming World meal - even if I forgot to check that harissa paste before tossing in all that was left in the jar).

  There was one other thing I did before going to bed, and that was to finish off some laundry I had started earlier in the day. I was getting very close to leaving it until this morning, but having to wring freezing water out this morning didn't appeal. So I wrung out close to freezing water out last night, and then did three rinses in warm water, plus one in fabric conditioner. With the laundry hung on a clothes horse, and providing a good excuse to leave a heater on low in the front room, I was free to go to bed.

  Once again I tried for an early-ish night. I attempted to get to sleep soon after 9pm, but at first sleep would not come. I seemed to be awake for some time, but I expect that in reality it may have been little more than 15 minutes. I can't remember a single thing of any of the few dreams that I remember having. That may be a sign of a good night's sleep - or not - who knows. One thing is for certain, it seems I was ready to get up earlier this morning.

  I was quite disappointed when I checked my blood glucose this morning - not because it was high, it wasn't. It was actually around my average level, but I had been hoping it might have been lower this morning. I haven't dared to get on the scales for a week or more now, and so I wouldn't even know what to expect - apart from it being higher than the low I achieved at the beginning of January, before all sorts of things went wrong. However, this morning I have a curious delusion that I feel like I am starting to lose a tiny bit of weight again. I hope that as winter gives way to spring, I can improve on that a lot.

  I think that today I feel as good as yesterday, and that turned out to be good enough for a 2.55 mile walk - some of it in adverse conditions. I think my aim should be to try to hit or exceed 3 miles today. Whether that will be my actual aim is difficult to tell before I start walking. I am wondering whether to tell Angela I'll be in the pub at 1pm, or to leave her to her privacy. Sooner or later she will appear in there regardless unless she has turned teetotal.

  The only semi-definite thing that I can predict about today is that my dinner is almost certainly going to be broccoli and chicken thighs. Maybe, and it is a big maybe, I might take extra care about what else I might eat today. I have just dared to weigh myself, and while it is bad, it is not as bad as I thought. It may even be slightly good. It does seem I have passed a peak, and on the way down again.