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Wednesday 19th May 2021
Lockdown day 420

08:29 BST

  The non seasonal weather continued yesterday. Some of the morning was bright, and the sunny spells lasted until at least 2pm. After that the clouds gathered, and then the rain fell. There was a couple of distant peals of thunder, but nothing from close by, and most of the rain here was fairly light, but there was at least one occasional where it was quite heavy for a short while. The afternoon temperature probably hit the predicted 14° C.
another wet day
  The latest revision to the forecast says there should be heavy rain at the moment, but it seems more like heavy drizzle. After 10am the chance of rain gets quite low, and it might be dry until 2pm, and even then the chance of rain is now only shown as 40%. It is still predicted that there could be more rain at, and probably after, 6pm. By late afternoon the temperature may rise to 16° C. That is a small improvement, but I would be expecting most days to be around 20° C by now. Tomorrow may be only 13° C, and it is probably going to be another very dull day with a few light showers.
   I did have a plan to go to Tesco early yesterday morning, but when it came to it I couldn't be bothered. I revised that idea after I had finishing writing this blog/diary, and had shaved, shampooed, and showered. Instead of 8am it was 10am when I went there, and I did not enjoy the experience. I couldn't be bothered to argue about wearing a mask (assuming I would be challenged), and so I put a mask on before entering the store, but I couldn't resist moaning about it to the man on the door when he said good morning, and how was I ?

  Not only is the outside of the store plastered with posters and billboards saying masks must be worn, but there were continual tannoy announcements about keeping safe. It felt like something from a dystopian SciFi movie. I only managed to get halfway through my shopping before I started coughing like I had some terminal disease. After a minute of that I had to drop the mask to blow my nose, and I felt much better for it.

  There was not a lot I wanted from Tesco. I wanted to check their soups to see which had the lowest sugar content, and I think I selected 4 of them. I had a look for mustard in tubes (like small toothpaste tubes), but I couldn't find any. It has been suggested that they have been discontinued by Colemans. I put a couple of cheeses, and a couple of packs of ham in my basket, and then went on for the main thing - whisky. I bought a 1.5 litre bottle of my favourite whisky - Tesco Special Reserve - the reason why I wanted to go there in the first place.

  Getting out was not a quick process. The few checkouts that were open didn't seem to be very busy, and I chose one where one person was already being served, and the woman behind her didn't seem to have much to buy. What I hadn't realised was the person being served was a woman with a baby in a pram. She seemed to be tucking all her purchases in around the baby, and was being really bloody slow about it. She was still fussing around as the next person was being served, and trying to pack her bags. At that point social distance fell to zero for those two. I deliberately held back until the woman with the pram started to push it away.
short walk
  I felt really, really irritated by the time I had paid for my stuff and headed to the exit. I was almost hyperventilating, and it was a great relief to get to the door and take off my mask as I stepped over the threshold. I calmed down a bit as I walked home. I then had over an hours wait until I could do my next planned thing. That was to go for a walk in the park, and see if The Jolly Farmer pub was open.

  There were two other things that added to my irritation before I went to the park. The worst was when I checked what The Black Cat was up to. I knew they intended to open again on Monday, and had said there would be some rules involved. Yesterday I learned that the main rule was that you had to sign in. The picture of the signing in book, in front of the bar, also showed a big QR code that could be scanned with the NHS track-and-trace app as an alternative, but that was not mentioned. Neither was any mention made of how you would be served - whether it was at table service, or if you could order from the bar like a proper pub. I suspect it was table service, and you had to remain seated unless leaving or going to the toilet - and the latter, and entering and leaving probably meant having to wear masks. That really pissed me off.

  The other, much more minor, irritation was that it seemed very likely that Angela was working from home yesterday. I never did confirm that, but later things tended to confirm that. It meant there was no chance of a meeting yesterday.

   I never intended to walk that far yesterday, and I wasn't expecting to have to walk through any mud, and so I put on a lightweight pair of trainers instead of my walking boots. That turned out to be one of those odd things in that they weren't comfortable, but neither did they do any damage to my feet, or indeed leave any lasting aches. It was more my bad mood than my shoes not being comfortable that made my walk not very enjoyable. I couldn't wait for it to be over, and I didn't even stop to take any pictures - except one.
                                      Jolly Farmer
  I deliberately passed The Jolly Farmer pub to see if it was open, and it was. As I passed the open door I saw what was probably some sort of signing in book on the bar, but it may have just been a menu card or something. I knew there was no point in telling Angela about it, but I sent two messages to her anyway. One message included the picture above. It turns out there was a point of sending those messages, but it was a very long wait until Angela replied.

  I was happy to get home again after walking almost 1.5 miles. On reflection there was no physical reason why I couldn't have extended the walk, but once I had done what I really wanted to do, check the pub, I had run out of enthusiasm for any more. In theory I should have been fasting for most of yesterday, but soon after I was home I was squeezing Primula cheese out of a tube onto rice crackers. The annoying thing is that I didn't enjoy them, and ate them rather mechanically. I have dark suspicions about the sugar content of them.

  It seemed like a long time after I got home that I was cheered up a lot. Upon checking my phone I see it was not long after 3pm that Angela replied to my earlier messages to ask if I would like to meet for a swift one tomorrow (today !). As much as I am apprehensive, and appalled by the bureaucracy of going into a pub these days, I quickly said yes. I feel sure that The Jolly Farmer, being a very small pub, with very few lunchtime customers (based on years of pre-lockdown experience) will go out of their way to make things as easy as possible for potential customers.

  After my initial thrill I became a bit moody again. I haven't seen Angela for over a year now. What will she be like ? Has she got comfortable with lover boy now, or is there still tension now and then. It is probably my biassed imagination, but I sometimes feel that not all is well between them. However I cannot raise my hopes that things will change in my favour. It should still be wonderful to have another distraction in these boring days by getting back to a few lunchtime drinks.
   I could very easily have eaten something very inappropriate for dinner last night, something like fish and chips, or a full Indian meal, but I thought I had better be sensible. What I did have was probably not that sensible, but at least it wasn't complete madness. I had a couple of crispy fish bakes with creamy salmon inside them. I suspect their sugar content may not have been low enough for my needs, but I think the runner beans (with butter) I had with them was sage enough.

  For one reason or another, I seemed to sleep really soundly last night. I can remember very little about the night except for a few snatches of dreams.  As far as I know I may have only got up for a pee twice in the night, and one of those times was at 5am when I often wake up anyway - particularly when it is fully light outside now. It is good time to turn the heater on full before going back to sleep (not that the heater should be needed over half way through May !).

  I can't remember anything like the full details of my dreams, but I can remember the relevant facts. It was another dream about being back at work. I had bunked off work, and then faced a reprimand. I refused to take the reprimand, and said I could easily get a better job. As evidence I pulled out a newspaper showing adverts for Electronic engineers with a salary £5000 more than I was being paid. If companies were prepared to pay that then people like me must be in short supply. The final crunch was when I then pointed out that the company needing people was the company I worked for ! The dream seemed to fade out at that point, and I never did find out if I got the sack or a pay rise.

  My obsession with the sugar content of almost anything, even stuff that it might not be obvious that it has any sugar in it, is because I am still losing the battle to keep my blood glucose down to acceptable levels. This morning it was 9.9mmol/l, and teetering on the edge of the danger zone. One symptom of diabetes that I have never knowingly suffered from is weight loss. I don't dare weigh myself (it would probably be very depressing) but I have a feeling my gut is bulging very slightly less now, and even my trousers are a tiny bit looser recently. Apart from being a bad thing, this could also be a good thing ! That is assuming I am not imagining it - always a danger in these situations.

  At the moment it feels like my stomach is growling with hunger, but I have to ignore it, and fast for as much of today as I can manage. Meeting Angela at 1pm is a good stimulus to fast, but drinking a few pints of Guinness may not be. On the other hand, on a day when I could be completely sedentary (because of the poor weather) I will be getting some exercise, and I may well take "the scenic route" to the pub, and add an extra mile of walking today. That probably depends on the weather. The latest revision to the forecast now says the start of the afternoon will be dry. Even the BBC weather forecast tends to agree. It should be 14 or 15° C, and that will be fine to go out in just a t-shirt. That will make walking far more enjoyable even when it is dull out. Maybe I might even put my proper walking boots on and manage 3 miles, or not.
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