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Thursday 20th May 2021
Lockdown day 420 421

08:43 BST

  Yesterday was drier and brighter than any forecast predicted. There was some rain, which I described as "heavy drizzle" yesterday morning, but later in the morning it brightened up, and contrary to any forecast, there were many sunny spells lasting halfway into the afternoon. Midday saw some almost black looking clouds, but there was still a lot of blue sky to be seen, and for most of the time the sun continued to shine. It was probably about 12:30 when a very light shower passed by very quickly. I hardly had time to wonder if I would get wet before it stopped. There was some more rain in the early evening, although I am not sure when, and if I didn't see the resulting puddles on the road outside I would never have realised it had happened. The temperature yesterday definitely reached 15° C, and may have hit the predicted 16° C. It almost felt warm !
a very dull day
  I was going to dispute the forecast of sunny spells at 6am, but I do recall thinking it looked quite bright outside, through cracks in the curtains, when I woke up around 6am. Now we are in for almost a day's worth of dull cloudy skies, but the chance of rain is very low (10% most of the day). The latest revision to the forecast gives some hope that from 6pm until sunset we could get some sunny spells. It is going to be a cool day by May standards (although it would have been considered nice for March). The afternoon temperature will probably be 14° C, but the dull cloudy skies will make it feel as if it is rather cool. Tomorrow may see a mix of no, light, and heavy rain (with very little no rain), and it will probably be a couple of degrees cooler - just 12° C when I reckon it should be closer to 20° C.
short but hilly walk
      I had doubts about going for a walk yesterday because the early forecast said I could be walking in the rain. That is not how it turned out (except for one very short, very light sprinkle of rain). Regardless of the weather I had to go out because after waiting over a year I was going to meet Angela for a lunchtime drink. More about that later.

  I did have an idea for a more ambitious walk than I ended up doing. I had put my best walking boots on, and taken some painkillers to keep my legs a bit happier, but I left home a bit too late. I still ended up doing 2.4 miles. If I had had the time I was going to walk to the top of Hilly Fields. That would have been quite taxing, but good practice, and I definitely need a lot of practice.

  This is particularly so when it comes to walking up big hills. By this time last year I was getting in some practice walking up hills, and it was getting easier and easier. I was also building up my range, as I should be doing now. Last year far better weather drew me out much more frequently, and I was feeling good. This year I don't - yet (hopefully) !

  Of course the thought that I would be seeing Angela was a great distraction from any hardship, but even when not fully distracted I seemed to feel an urge to push on through the apparent discomfort to see how well I could perform. The best, maybe the only real example was walking up Arthurdon Road, which can just be made out on the map to the left, and is the road that leads up to the cemetery gates. It is not a steep hill, but it is a long uphill slog. I wanted to stop half way up it, but I gritted my teeth, and much to my surprise I did it non stop. What is more is that I seemed to recover from it in no time once I was on level ground.
                                      workers on track
  Going up and over the "curly whirly" footbridge over the railway was the first bit of hard work, but I had to take a breather at the top to take a couple of pictures. This one shows three track workers strolling towards Catford Bridge.
                                      and train
 On the right is the official lookout for the others. He is walking ahead holding a chequered blue and white flag to signal to any oncoming train to be aware of the other workers. He was walking between the rails until the approaching train hooted, and then he stepped onto the cess on the far side of the track.
                                      water tower and black looking
  It was at this point, approaching the old water tower that is now housing, that I started getting worried about those very dark looking clouds. I was a long way from any shelter, and only wearing my sleeveless denim jacket. Fortunately there was also a lot of blue sky too, but it was maybe 10 minutes after taking this picture that I did walk through a very, very light shower. It was so light, and over so soon that I didn't seem to get wet at all.
                                      panel for Ladywell Cemetery
  I don't know why I have never seen this info panel before. I must admit it does look very clean and bright, and so it may be new. It gives a nice potted history of the place, but of I have one complaint it is that it feels upside down. The Ladywell entrance at the top is actually the south east corner.
                                      and Ladywell cemetery
  I suppose turning the layout through 90° does make it fit on the panel better, but the map view, with north at the top, makes it far easier to get a feel for the place, and plan a route through it.
  It is a strange concept for most, but I find cemeterys, particularly old ones like Brockley and Ladywell to be really nice places. They are calm and generally quiet, are very green, and have wonderful statues in them.
                                      and gravestones
  The sky looks cloudy, but it still seemed very bright, and the grass looked very green.
  It always amazes me just how much money must have been spent on these memorials. I guess if you have it you flaunt it, but I can think of many better ways to waste money.
  The last time I passed The Ladywell Tavern it was during "lockdown-lite" when drinking was permitted only in beer gardens. It was the only pub I saw open during the day (approx lunchtime). Yesterday it was getting a delivery of booze, and was open for inside drinking.

  The Jolly Farmer was open for indoor drinking as well. I waited outside for Angela. She arrived slightly before 1pm, and it was so wonderful to see her. The first thing she did was to give me a hug. That was unexpected, but wonderful. We went in together, and it was pretty much as I expected. There were just two other customers in there, and so there was no need for things like booking tables. We were probably supposed to wear masks for the 10ft walk to our old table, but didn't bother, and no one complained. The only oddity was that we had to order from the table, but that wasn't all that odd because we often half did it well before lockdown was invented.

  I don't know why I had any doubts about meeting Angela, She was really pleased to see me, and as warm as ever, although not totally relaxed. I think there was more she could have told me if she was more relaxed, and also if there had been enough time. The hour seemed to fly by, and soon it was time for Angela to get back to work. I walked her back to work, and we had another quick hug as we said goodbye. With luck we will meet again some day next week.

  I found myself walking quite fast as I made my way back home. It was as if seeing Angela had rejuvenated me somehow. I even had the energy to to do all the picture processing before I did anything else. "Anything else" was actually a snooze, possibly a fairly long snooze. The two pints of Guinness didn't really affect me that much, but the large glass of whisky I drank while going through the photos did !

  I was also able to fast right through the day and up to dinner time. I checked my blood glucose and it had dropped right down to 6.7mmol/l. That was a really good reading, but it would have been a lot better if it could have been a morning reading. My dinner should have been low calorie and low sugar. It was grilled, skinless, chicken thighs and raw bell peppers. It was very tasty, but somehow it didn't feel filling/satisfying.

  It wasn't long before I had a sort of late dessert of some rice crackers with cream cheese, and then a bit later still, some cold sliced Spanish meats. I'm sure everything there was shown as having a very low sugar content, but this morning there was evidence that something must have contained a lot more sugar than expected. I think I had one more whisky, and then I went to bed. I read for a while, and then turned out the light just as it was getting dark. I think I was asleep by 10pm.

  I seemed to sleep well again, and I can only remember getting up in the night once or twice if you don't count the now traditional getting up at 5am to turn the heating up. I can't remember much in the way of details of my dreams, but I know they were based up the book I am reading. I have read the book before, and while I can't consciously remember much of the plot as I read, I think my subconscious remembers more. My dreams may well have been about what is to come as I read further.

  This morning I was astounded to see my blood glucose had risen to 10.8mmol/l - well into the danger zone. I am sure what I ate last night didn't contain that much sugar ! I have just taken another reading, and about three hours later it is down to a safer, but still far too high, 9.8mmol/l. Basically this means I ought to be fasting again today, and then try to resist anything else after my dinner. The trouble is that this afternoon is boozing time. It would be wise to have something inside my stomach before pouring booze into it. Having said that, I did seem to get away with it yesterday, but some of the beer I will probably drink could be a lot stronger than Guinness ! Maybe today is a day when I'll just make it up as I go along, and damn the consequences.
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