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January 2020 February 2020

Friday 14th February 2020
08:49 GMT
  Yesterday was wet, sometimes very wet ! The forecast said the last rain would fall at 4pm, but it finished before that. I can't seem to remember when it finally stopped, but I do know that for the last 20 minutes the rain fell like stair rods, and that must have drained the clouds very quickly (sort of). I suppose with an afternoon temperature of 10° C the day could be called mild.
a frosty and sunny start

  By now the temperature if supposed to be 6° C according to the forecast above, but my thermometers agree that it is just 3° C, and the bright sunshine is only now melting the frost. Eventually the sunshine may give way to just sunny spells, and if the forecast has any credence, those sunny spells will finish before 1pm, but by then it should be 11° C. The temperature is then supposed to stay constant up to 9am tomorrow when it may start to rise to 13° C. Unfortunately the price to pay for tomorrows almost warm temperature is more rain, and gale force winds !

  There were a few sunny spells in between showers yesterday morning, and I thought I might have been able to rush out in one of those sunny spells, but alas, no. I was slightly delayed by a phone call from a friend, and without that I may have been able to do my shopping in Poundland, and get back before the really heavy rain started. In reality it was drizzling as I walked to Poundland, and the rain was much heavier as I returned home. As I closed the front door behind me the rain started to come down in stair rods. Had I been out 2 minutes longer I would have gone from 90% saturated to 100% !
grass seed

  I wasn't specifically going to buy grass seed when I went out, but it was something I was keeping an eye out for. I had expected to buy it from Poundstretcher, but it appeared in Poundland first. It provided a good example of how time is very variable when not tied to a job.

  I didn't look at the packets properly before thinking that all I needed was a few dry, and hopefully mild days to prepare the ground for planting. I thought that isn't going to happen soon, and then I saw that this seed should be planted from March to October. That seemed a relief because I though March was ages away, and later I realised that March is only a fortnight away. Well hopefully in a few weeks we will have some stable weather, with some occasional rain that is just enough to water the seeds, and not so bad that it washed them away.

   That grass seed was probably my most important buy from Poundland. I had originally gone there to look for nuts to bribe squirrels to pose in front of my camera, and I did buy a selection that if I don't get out on a sunny day soon I will probably eat myself before bribing squirrels in the park. I also bought a few more photo frames - big and small. I have no immediate need of them, but I feel sure I'll be using them sooner or later.

  It was about lunchtime when I got back from Poundland, and I fancied some lunch. I could eat it while drying out. I wanted something very tasty, but in keeping with my desire to try and loose a little bit more weight. It also had to have a very low or zero sugar content. I think a steak and three very big mushrooms almost filled the recipe. It was certainly a very nice lunch. After lunch I did little more than lay on my bed and read a few more chapters from the book I am reading. There was other stuff I could, or maybe should have done, but the grey skies and rain drained any enthusiasm from me. Incidently, the repair on my gutter got well tested yesterday, and apart from a small, almost dribbly leak from where it joins next doors guttering, it all held in the heavy rain.
to and from Catford
  It was because I didn't go out for any formal exercise yesterday that I thought I would record my walks to and from the station when I went for my Thursday boozing session. I set out at 15:55 to walk to the station to catch the 16:10 train. It took me 9 minutes, and so I had a 6 miinute wait on the platform before my train arrived. It is curious that the last time I measure this walk it was 0.55 miles long, and yet yesterday it seems it was only 0.48 miles.

  The real point of the exercise was to see how fast I could walk to the station. I feel sure I have walked it faster than yesterday. My walk felt quite sluggish yesterday, and I just couldn't seem to speed up. One strange reason was that my ankles felt stiff. I guess that was because of getting them wet in the morning. Nevertheless, 3.21 mph is a fraction faster to what I believe is my sustained walking speed - I usually assume that to be 3 mph.

  On the way home I did walk closer to my usual average speed, but I was expecting it to be faster than it was. It seemed to feel faster, and it felt like I had worked harder when I got home. One possible explanation is that the fried chicken shop was pulling at me like a magnet. I resisted that pull, and had a more sensible dinner when I got home. One thing not included in these figures is that from the train to the pub must be almost a tenth of a mile, and so my total walk was probably close to one mile - which sounds a bit sad after walking 3 miles on Wednesday.
Five Claw a 5% beer
   Last night there was another new beer in the pub that had to be tried. It was Five Claw from the Dorking Brewery. At 5.1% it was a bit strong for a long session, but three pints didn't seem to effect me too much - if it had I would no doubt have given into the lure of the fried chicken shop on the way home. I think I would describe the taste of the beer and something like sweet and sour, but neither strongly. I found it very nice, although maybe my enthusiasm started to wilt sometime during the third pint. I don't think I would have like a fourth pint, but the first two were definitely good.

  Apart from feeling like I had put more effort into my walking than it appears I actually did, I felt sort of bland when I got home. I didn't feel drunk, and I didn't feel cold...well not at first. I decided that a ham salad would do me for dinner. I have to admit it wasn't just being "good" but also a desire to use up some baby spinach leaves before they started to wilt. So my salad was baby spinach leaves, some baby plum tomatoes, and one long bell pepper. I topped that up with some mixed pickle before dumping a small pack of ham on it. Oh, and I also used more mayonnaise than was probably good for me.

  I said I wasn't feel cold when I got in, but that was the effect of the alcohol, and the walk. I had turned the heating off much earlier in the afternoon, and after I got home it seemed to take some time to warm the room up. Eating a cold salad didn't help. I decided to follow that salad with some hot soup - quite a bit of it.

  I made up a triple portion of Heinz "Tomato with a hint of basil" cup-a-soup. I was hoping that the last time I had it, it was just down to me that I didn't find it enjoyable, but now, after trying it for a second time, I am sure that it is not nice. It's not actually repulsive, but I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about it. What I can say is that I will avoid buying any more cup-a-soups made by Heinz. The chicken soup, with a name something like, but different to "cup-a-soup", made by (for) Tesco was much nicer.

  I should have stopped after that soup. It filled me up a lot, but a bit later I got bored watching TV. I wanted to have, and did have a nibble. First of all it was a small amount of smoked almonds, and then I had some sugar free vanilla wafers. They were what I had been looking for in Iceland recently, but I actually found them in Poundland yesterday. At 8.45pm, or thereabouts, I got so bored with TV that I turned it off and went to bed, initially to do some reading.

  While I was distracted by the book I felt generally OK, but once I put the book down, and turned out the lights, I became aware that I was feeling a bit bloated. Maybe it felt worse when I turned onto my side. I still managed to get to sleep fairly quickly, but I didn't sleep well. After a couple of hours I woke up feeling like a couple of antacid tablets might be a good idea. They seemed to work, and I was soon back to sleep, but it felt like I was waking up almost every hour. I wasn't, but that is what it felt like. My sleep felt even more disturbed when I started dreaming about it. At least I think it was a dream where I was dreaming I was laying awake in bed unable to sleep. It was strange waking up from that - there were only subtle changes to indicate I had left a dream, and was now back in reality - at least I think I am.

  I have noticed a strange thing to do with sleep. I suffer from some pain in my right shoulder. I don't know what it is, but I guess it is somewhere in the realm of rheumatism or arthritis. The peculiar thing is that if I am not troubled by it when sleeping then I can be troubled by it during the day. The opposite is also true. Of course this is not an absolute rule - to swap between night and day there have to be some days when the pain is there night and day, and there are also days and nights when there is no pain. I think those no pain nights and days are when it is warm and sunny.

  This morning, apart from my shoulder being a bit painful (but only when moved in certain ways - showering is probably going to be quite painful as I reach across my chest to scrub my left armpit), I seem to be mostly OK. Relying on such small figures is, of course, ludicrous, but I am going to claim that I have lost 100gm in the last 24 hours (and keep very quiet if at the end of the day that turns out to be false). My biggest annoyance is that my blood glucose is a little higher this morning when I hoped it may be lower. I think I can blame the beer for that.

  I have little idea what I'll be doing today. One thing I won't be doing is going to have a lunchtime drink with Angela. She is off work today, and going for some beauty treatment with daughter Miranda. I sent her a text message a little earlier to wish her well, and to hope that they are both happy with their treatment. I have just got a reply that simply says "Thanks", and was followed by "xxxxx" - five kisses, not unprecedented, but still very nice. My day feels better already.

  There is one definite thing I will be doing today, and I'll be doing it soon. I left a duvet cover soaking in detergent yesterday. I had intended to wash it yesterday, but now it is in freezing water, and wringing it out, prior to doing three rinses, and a conditioning in warm water, is going to feel horrible. If it can stay bright, which I don't think it will, I could start to prepare the ground for my new lawn, but I imagine it is going to be horribly muddy out there. Maybe I could still put the edging in. I have a feeling I might do something completely different....or nothing at all !