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January 2020 February 2020

Sunday 16th February 2020
10:44 GMT
  It was bloody horrible yesterday...well maybe not all the time. Sometimes it was just unpleasant. The only slightly good thing was that at 12 or 13° C it wasn't chilly, but neither was it warm. The all pervading feature was how dull and grey it was. The occasionally torrential rain was just an added feature in case we weren't pissed off enough.
wet and windy again

  There obviously has been some heavy rain, and there are raindrops on the windows now, but I couldn't describe it as raining heavily. There seem to be occasional squalls of heavy-ish rain, and perhaps an invisible from indoors, light drizzle at other times. While still very overcast, it seems lighter than the doomy forecast might suggest. The latest revision to the forecast shows some periods of heavy rain are now periods of lighter rain, and the strong winds that were supposed to rattle the tiles earlier, and which I didn't notice, are now behind us. The day is now cooling down, and from a morning start of 13° C it should slowly get cooler and cooler until it is just 8° C tonight. Tomorrow may only be around 8° C, and there will probably be some scattered showers through the day, but it seems like we have got through storm Dennis without any mishaps.

  I was not keen to do much yesterday - or at least nothing outside, and I had little enthusiasm to do much indoors either. I was mostly saving myself for the evening, but I did go and get some shopping from Tesco. I know I have mentioned this at least once in the past, and possibly many times, but I must mention it again because it is both amusing and annoying at the same time (to me). The till at Tesco spewed out several "discount tickets". I'll just ignore the savings I would get if I bought some expensive "electrical" equipment I don't want, and move on to the stupid thing.

  It is popularly thought that the whole idea of a Tesco Club card (or any store card) is that the store invades your privacy to learn everything about you so they can target you with off they hope you can refuse. Once again I got a discount ticket for 5p off a litre of fuel at Tesco petrol stations. I cannot understand why Tesco think I might possibly drive a car. While some things may be dual use, maybe some cleaning products, I cannot think of anything I have ever bought from Tesco that has anything to do with cars.

  "Tesco - I don't drink petrol, and I never have, but I do drink whisky (and whiskey). How come you never give me discount vouchers for whisky ?" Fortunately Tesco (or at least the Catford branch) does have that silly, but oh so useful, offer on again - a One Litre bottle of Haig for £3 less than the price of the 70cl bottle. I like Haig, and I currently seem to have 5 litres of it ready to drink when I feel the right time comes. At the moment I am drinking Tesco Special Reserve - and by "at the moment" I mean that is the bottle that is currently opened, but I am not actually drinking it for breakfast.
how to repair your skylab
  I had to take a picture of this book to send to someone, and while I had the picture to hand I thought I would show it here. The "Owners' Workshop Manual" is a fascinating read. I have recently learned that Haynes, famous for their car repair handbooks, branched out to include manuals for all sorts of things. They have handbooks for all sorts of space hardware, as well as things like the Sopwith Camel biplane. It may just look like a novelty, but it does go into a level of detail that takes some serious understanding. I will admit that so far I have only sampled a few pages, but once I have finished the current book I am reading this Skylab manual will be my next read. I could be tempted to buy more of these manuals.

  Yesterday afternoon's weather was filthy, and I wondered if I would really be going out in it in the evening. In fact there was less rain in the evening than there was in the afternoon, but the wind was just as fierce featuring some very powerful gusts - enough to make the bus stop wobble as I waited for a bus.

  At 7pm I set out for The Pelton Arms pub in Greenwich. (It is the pub that featured in Only Fools And Horses as everybody kept telling 0 like I cared !). I have definitely come to the conclusion I prefer travelling north to go to gigs - Bromley, to the south, is boring, and frequented by some people I find annoying to some degree or another.

  If it had been a warm summers evening I would have done part of the journey as a nice walk along the banks of the Thames, but not in the dark on a stormy night ! It is, unfortunately a two bus journey there and back, but fortunately I was very lucky with my buses, and never had to wait more than 6 or 7 minutes. On the way home my wait when changing buses was just 3.5 seconds. I leapt off the bus at a compulsory stop, and hoped that the following bus, which I wanted, would stop there. It did.

  It seems there was much talk that concluded there was no way I was going to turn up to an unfamiliar pub in the middle of a storm (although the rain was actually quite light when I arrived in Greenwich). I surprised many when I did turn up, and well in time for the first band. It was a slightly unusual night in that Chain had a support band. They were a bunch of hopeful youngsters who had persuaded the landlord to let them do a short set, and persuaded Chain to let them use their PA. They were actually very good, but on first hearing they didn't really excite me, and left no memorable tunes in my head. I thought they were good enough that I would have bought their new EP - except it doesn't physically exist. It is only a bunch of ones and zeros to be downloaded from somewhere. I want a physical product - even if just on a CDR disk.
The Haze
  Unfortunately I have no idea what any of their names are, but apart from the drummer, hidden by the singer/guitarist, this is The Haze. It is unfortunate that they have chosen a name used by another half dozen bands. They will not stand out, and people will not be sure they are buying on line songs from the right band.
closer look at The
  You can just see the drummers head over the shoulder of the singer in this picture. I did try taking some pictures without flash, but the sparse stage lights gave everyone a strange cast, although they did provide just enough light to use when my camera was on highest sensitivity. I did shoot a bit of video with no extra light, and it doesn't look too bad, Maybe I'll show a clip tomorrow.

  The lure of a new band, and the chance to visit a new venue, was 50% of the reason for going out. The other 50% was to see Chain. I have found that it is good to take a break from seeing any band that you see too often, but I have taken a break from seeing all bands for months (apart from one Chain gig 3 or 4 weeks ago, and my aborted MT Pockets gig a fortnight ago). Last night's Chain gig was not exactly fresh, but I did hear at least one new song. I also took a shed load of pictures that I will be processing today.

  I stayed until the end of Chain's first set - which seemed quite a long set. I think they were playing until midnight, but a 10.30pm end seemed late enough for me. I expected to exit the pub into pouring rain, but it was just spitting so lightly that I didn't even bother doing my coat up. Walking back to the bus stop seemed quicker than walking from the bus stop, although I wasn't exactly sure where the bus stop to go home from was. It was probably closer than I thought. I just missed a bus, but that turned out to be a good thing.

  There were a choice of buses I could have got, but at least one would have meant changing buses at a bus stop with only one bus going to Catford on it. A couple of the others go into Lewisham where I could potentially have a choice of 4 or 5 buses going to Catford - but depending on just where the bus went in Lewisham. I caught a 180 bus, a route that used to go through Catford, but now terminates in Lewisham. The trouble was that I did not know what stops it stopped at in Lewisham.

  I was very lucky in that the 180 bus I was on overtook a 199 bus in Greenwich High Street. At the next compulsory bus stop I got off the 180, and kept my fingers crossed that the 199 would stop there as well - fortunately it did. It was useful that the 199 followed behind the 180 so I could see where it stopped in Lewisham. It turns out that it stops around the back of the DLR station, and it would be a couple of minutes walk to get to a bus stop for a bus to Catford. Changing where I did turned out to be a good idea.

  To avoid temptation I had pre-cooked some supper in the form of some grilled, skinless chicken thighs. I ate them with a bowl of Tesco ready prepared "house salad".  After supper I was in a curious state of tired, and yet not feeling that tired. I considered starting to process the photos and video I should. It would actually have been a good idea to do one of the videos because I could have left it rendering while I was asleep. In the end I decided I would go straight to bed. That was probably a good thing because I think I may have even been asleep before Chain's last encore finished !

  Today it's going to be all "multimedia". I have already processed all the Haze photos, and next on the agenda will be the Chain photos. Once they are done I will play with the video I shot. At some time I had better have a shower...although I don't think I am seeing anyone today, and so I could get away with just a quick rub down with a flannel. At this point in time I feel like a snooze. I probably won't have one, but it would be good to rest my fingers for a while before my tendonitis/Carpel Tunnel Syndrome/bad circulation (take your pick) gets too uncomfortable.