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January 2020 February 2020

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Thursday 20th February 2020
09:04 GMT
  A pattern emerges....Like the day before, yesterday started bright, but it didn't last. It wasn't long before the clouds gathered, and it started raining - earlier than forecast if I recall correctly. The rain was supposed to stop after sunset, but I have no idea if it did or didn't. It was a rather cool day. The afternoon started at just 8° C, but finished at 9° C.
another bright-ish start, but rain

  The ground was certainly very wet at first light, but there was a period of brightness, although not full sunshine, this morning. According to the latest revision to the forecast it should be drizzling right now, and maybe it is, but it is too fine to be seen from indoors. Once good thing is that the strong winds (shown as white numbers on black circles in the screenshot above) will only blow for two hours instead of three. Just for a change, the morning will be less cool than the afternoon. This morning may be 10 or 11° C, but by sunset the temperature may fall to 7° C, and keep falling after that. One of the features of the headline is hail showers. Each revision of the forecast over the last 36 hours has insisted hail will fall at 6pm, and at no other time. I think the headline is more worthy of a red top newspaper, and not of a serious forecast. Hail or not, it seems most of the afternoon is going to be wet ! y contrast, tomorrow may feature a sunny morning, and be almost warm (but not actually warm).

  I had hoped that I might be able to get some shopping done, and still have time for a walk in the park, and to meet Angela at lunchtime (if she was available). That didn't happen - mostly because of the time it took to write this diary. I have some ideas about that I'll include at the end. I had also hoped that, if nothing else, I could get to Aldi and back before the rain started - no such luck ! It wasn't heavy rain, but it was the sort of rain that can get you very wet during the five minute walk to Aldi.

  It was slightly less than 6° C, according to my thermometers, when I set out. That seemed cool enough to wear my winter coat. The rain was good reason to also use the hood for the first time. Had the temperature been lower still, and if it had been snowing, that coat would have been excellent. It certainly kept me very dry on the way to Aldi, but even 5 minutes of fast walking meant I was feeling a little too warm when I got there. I didn't bother to do it up as I back home again, although I did use the hood to keep my head dry.

  There were a few things I specifically wanted from Aldi. I had this idea that beansprouts cooked in beef stock with beef jerky might make a low everything meal. I was so convinced by this that I allowed myself to buy a bag of 6 Braeburn apples. I have to be careful with fruit because some can contain quite high levels of sugar, but green apples aren't too bad, and Braeburn apples are half green. I did allow myself to buy one other luxury, or maybe not "luxury" item, but....
trekking boots
   If these boots turn out to be comfortable then they are not a luxury item. My favourite walking boots only became my favourite when I discovered that if I wore thin socks, instead of chunky "walking socks" they were very comfortable, and even a 4 mile walk didn't knacker my feet. Sadly they are coming to the end of their life, and probably by summer, when I hope to be doing lots of longer distance walks, I will need a new pair. I have a couple of pairs already, but they never did feel comfortable in the past, and I have doubts they would even with thin socks. In fact I know one pair is uncomfortable even with thin socks. I am hoping that these new boots, maybe once run in, will turn out to be comfortable.

  I think it was gone 12.30 when I got home from Aldi, and I could never get to the pub in time to meet Angela unless I just dropped my shopping on the floor, and went straight out the front door again. Actually that is not quite true - I can make the pub in 20 minutes or even less if I really rush, but I was not in the mood to rush after lugging heavy shopping home in a coat that was overheating me. I sorted out my shopping, had a 20 minute rest, and then went out again to Poundland.
window boxes
  Once again I had some very specific things in mind when I went there - and for once that was all I bought.  These wooden trays (top and side views above) are, according to what is written on the side, intended for herbs, but my intention is to use them as window boxes outside my front room. I bought these three boxes, and a bag of compost. Later on in the day I filled them with compost, and planted some seeds in them. I have decided to keep them indoors, in the warm, until those seeds start sprouting. Then I will take them out into the wild outside weather. The boxes are made from cheap plywood held together by staples. I doubt they will last until the end of the summer, but we'll see. If they do then I may paint them once the flowers have finished, and that may help them last for next year....but I have my doubts.

  Sometimes I think my brain knows more about what I should eat than I do ! My lunch was as described earlier - bean sprouts and beef jerky cooked in beef stock (Oxo cubes) for 10 minutes. It was nice, not as magical as I hoped, but worth repeating some day. I think I followed it with an apple. The apple sort of surprised me. It was both sweet and not sweet. I can't really explain that contradiction. Maybe it was because I haven't had any sweet stuff for so long that it seemed sweet, and yet at the same time it was also quite tart.

  My dinner was a more "luxury" version of lunch. Once again it was a lot of beansprouts, but this time cooked in chicken stock with some chicken thighs I had very generously seasoned, and grilled earlier in the day. I also added a small sliced onion, and some mange tout. The final flourish was a small spoonful of Marmite flavoured peanut butter. It was a nice meal, and much later on, to my great surprise it turned out to be healthier than I had imagined.

  A little later in the evening I snacked on another apple, and some sugar free vanilla wafers. I ate those while watching TV - which was not really catching my full attention. Another distraction from the TV I was watching, was to have a look at a famous social media web site. I found a picture that was probably only to be expected, but deeply depressed me. It was Angela and lover boy exchanging a kiss on Valentines day.

  I went to bed wondering why I bother doing so many things. Why am I spending all this time trying to do gardening? Why do I bother walking through the rain to meet Angela? Why do I even bother doing all the walking I do, and try to look after my health ? I lay in bed feeling really desolate, but eventually sleep came, and with it some dreams that initially reflected that desolation. The first dream really reflected it. I was walking away from some friends who I thought I liked, and deciding to cut myself off from everyone I knew, and just seek solitude.

  Later dreams were less severe, and left no bad memories. My last dreams seems sort of normal - except that in the last I was smoking Benson & Hedges again. Oddly enough, I did seem to sleep quite well last night. Maybe it was because one of the last things I did before going to bed was to sit on the toilet - twice - and on both occasion had a small but violent bowel explosion. Quite how that may have helped when I have been unaware of any such need during nights when I have slept badly, is an unknown quantity.

  Maybe that unpleasantness on the toilet last night did have a positive effect, or maybe it was just what I ate yesterday (although the two could be deeply related), but this morning my weight has most definitely dropped - although it was much lower still for a few days last December, and it is still not as low as when I was "officially" weighed in the hospital last time - but it is now getting very close !!! Another surprise was that my blood glucose level was under 7 this morning - albeit only just. It was 6.9mmol/l, and that is good news !
a rare breakfast
  To say I don't usually have breakfast is untrue because I often have at least some sort of nibble in the morning. This morning I had something a bit more formal. I have to make sure I use those apples up before they start to decay, and so I invented this very healthy (possibly) looking breakfast. Even vegans could probably eat raw apple and some assorted nuts. Tomorrow morning I will find it it has had a positive or negative effect on me. There is a theory that having some sort of breakfast will reduce snacking later in the day, but something with a load of slow release carbohydrates, like porridge, is the recommended way of doing it, but I prefer to consume as few carbohydrates as I can for now.

  Today I have one definite plan, and one possible plan. The possible is to go for a short walk in the park to test my new boots. It is possible that if they do turn out to be comfortable it might be a longer walk. The definite plan is to go for my regular Thursday drink. There could be a small possibility of going out again after that. There are potentially two open mic sessions I could go to tonight, but it is hard going out again after coming home with a belly full of beer, and feeling warm and comfortable. It might be a more likely possibility when it is still light at around 8pm.

  I have been thinking - which always hurts my brain ! Since retiring from work, and writing these diaries at home, I have allowed myself to write as much as I want, for as long as I want. I am now thinking along the lines of writing up the day at the end of the day, instead of the following morning. Not writing in the morning would mean I could get out a lot earlier, and this will be more important on days when I hope to be travelling further afield for coastal, or country walks. Maybe I will start this tomorrow, but of I do I may write a reminder in the morning.