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January 2020 February 2020

Monday 17th February 2020
09:26 GMT
  I didn't go out yesterday and so the weather was of no real concern, but I did note that the rain was not always the heavy rain that was forecast. A lot of the time it was quite light, and may have even stopped now and then. Just as the sun was setting some holes opened up in the clouds to the west, and suddenly glorious sunshine came flooding into my room - albeit at such an acute angle that it didn't really light up anything except the east side of my front rooms. The day started very mild at 13° C, but very strong winds blew any warmth away. From then on the temperature slowly dropped to 11° C for the afternoon, and ultimately to 7° C by midnight.
I see sunshine !

  It seems storm Dennis has passed us by, and for now the extremes of weather are over (but apparently there is another storm leaving that blasted country called America, and will be here later). The ground was wet when I first peeped out the window, but at 8am I saw sunshine instead of hail. The latest revision of the forecast says it will now be a dry day with some occasional sunshine. As I write this the sky is almost all blue, and it looks like the sunshine could continue for a while yet. Later on the sky could get lightly overcast, and we will only get an occasional sunny spell, but everything looks good right now. The temperature should climb from about 7° C to 10° C this afternoon. It will probably be a cold night. At the moment, tomorrow looks to start similar to today, but there could be more rain after sunset.
sunshine near
  The sudden burst of sunshine, perhaps 20 minutes before the sun set, came as a complete surprise yesterday afternoon. I was so amazed that I pointed one of my cameras directly at the sun - not a good thing to do because it can burn the sensor. I kept my fingers crossed that the sun would have a lot less burning power when so low in the sky, and besides which, it was being filtered by going through slightly less than clean double glazing.

  My day was quite boring yesterday. I seemed to spend virtually all day processing pictures and video. It was the video that was most boring. A 4 minute clip, with overlays, took nearly an hour to render in high definition. I decided to render to 1080i - the full resolution from my Canon camera. I wish I had used my mobile phone with steadycam attachment, but the steadycam device is too big to go in any of my camera bags (except me huge festival bag), and it felt like my camera bag was heavy enough as it was.

  This video is of the band The Haze, and I believe is called "The Living". A bit of steady camerawork would have improved it a lot, but at least the sound came out sounding nice. As is so often the case, I couldn't shoot it from the best angle because I was disinclined to deliberately stand in front of people for the length of an entire song, and so the bass player, and drummer can't be seen well.

  I don't know if I am getting slower, but it did seem to take a long time to get through the 88 snaps of The Haze, and the 109 snaps of Chain. Maybe it takes me a while to choose the best photos - for instance I whittled down the 109 photos of Chain to just 12 that I thought worth showing in a photo album. I could probably do with a faster PC as well to cope with the higher resolutions I now deal with. That is very particularly so when it comes to video. More RAM memory would help, but I think I have the maximum my motherboard can take (although I probably ought to experiment with that).
Rob Todd stiking
                              poses for his guest spot
  I can't recall if I took this picture without using any flash, or if I had the flash set to very low to preserve some of the colour from the weak stage lighting. The curious thing is that this picture of Rob Todd doing his guest spot, for the 120th rendition of "Road To Hell", was one of the pictures that had a look I sort of liked even though I usually prefer my pictures to be brighter.
  This picture was taken with flash, and the coloured stage lighting is not that apparent. It seems strange that it still looks a bit dull. I probably didn't want to brighten it any more because it could have made Jo's face look too shiny. At least I got the whole band in, although it is a shame that Chris was looking at his boots.

 One of my aims for yesterday, beyond photographic post production (as it could be called to make it sound very important) was to reduce, or at least restrain my calorie and sugar intake. I don't think I did either in the end. It was one of those days where I didn't have any formal meals, but just ate now and again when I felt hungry (or felt bored). Most of what I ate was probably OK for my blood glucose level, but the two 600ml bottles of French premium lager were probably not good for it.My blood glucose this morning was very disappointing !

  One of my impromptu meals was to have some soup. I tried out a couple of the Bachelors cup-a-soup packs I had recently bought. I am not sure if I should be expecting them to come out like canned soup, but they are definitely very different. Yesterday I tried chicken noodle soup, and Oxtail soup. The chicken noodle soup seemed quite light on taste, and the noodles were just tiny rings of pasta less than a quarter if an inch across. The oxtail soup had more taste, and with a splash of chilli sauce tasted quite nice, but it had the consistency of thin gravy. It was definitely designed to be drunk from a cup instead of spooned from a bowl (which is what I did because I will not touch hot brown liquid in a cup).

  I the evening I turned off my TV before the last episode of three being shown on the Yesterday channel, and went to bed. That was about 9.30pm. I felt very weary, but not tired. It took a while to get to sleep, and I did not sleep well. It was one of those nights where I found it hard to get into a comfortable position. Some positions seemed to threaten to start my chest hurting, and in others one or other hand might start going numb. There also seemed to be extra lumps in the pillows and mattress that were not there the previous night.

  One thing all that added up to was a load of vivid dreams. I had a right mixture, and some were scary, although not actually terrifying. Probably the first I remember was when a skip lorry seemed to transform into a small, 4 wheeled robot, and started chasing me. I was not that scary because I knew there were stairs nearby, and it couldn't get down them....until it transformed again to an 8ft high bipedal robot. Now that did seem scary, but I noticed that during the transformation it had forgotten to add eyes, and so could no longer see me.

  One very peculiar dream was one where I was dreaming I was asleep in bed, but being woken up by screaming level shouting from next door. It sounded like two woman having a screaming match with each other. I could not make out most of the words, but I thought it had something to do with leaving a toaster on. It wasn't long before a different part of my brain realised that there wasn't any young women living next door, and that triggered me to wake up for real. I was in the same position as in the dream, but there was silence from next door, and it was obvious that it had just been a dream.

  The only other dream I remember bits from was quite a long dream (or more likely smaller dreams stitched together in my memory to make a long story). I have no idea why, but in this dream I was in America, and the first thing I remember was seeing a disused railway station with sidings. I could see what looked like a working station further down the line, but could never confirm it. I was then on a bus going down a road that was lined with statues. I remarked to my companion (whose face I don't think I saw) that I ought to come back on foot to take photos of these statues.

  Somehow the bus changed into a train, and I was sort of excited to be taking my first ride on an American train. Then things got a bit weird because the size of the train seemed to get bigger, and the next thing is we were being challenged by the American Department Of Homeland Security, and I had a lot of problem finding all the documents to prove I should be there. I had no need to worry because at that point a giant tortoise broke out of a box a little way down the now huge carriage, and started menacing us. That seemed like a good time to wake up !

  This morning I feel extra creaky, and as I have already mentioned, my blood glucose is rather high (although still within safe-ish limits). It is starting to get a bit cloudy now, but with luck it will stay bright and dry, and that means I really ought to try and force myself to take an extra long walk in the park today. I hope I'll be able to see Angela at lunchtime. I don't think I really expect to do much this afternoon, or this evening, but you never know.