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June 2022 July 2022

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Monday 18th July 2022
 08:51 BST
  The temperature reached about 29° C, and yet most of the time it didn't feel excessively hot. Most of the only featured sunny spells, and there was a period during the afternoon when for several hours the sun would only put in brief appearances.
                              warning for hot weather
  Today we hit the first red warning for extreme heat ! As yet the scare stories of 40° C have yet to come, and maybe won't come in this part of London. It will be non stop sunshine until 9pm, and that will push the temperature up to 36° C (or 38° C if you believe the BBC version of the forecast). It will definitely be hot today, but tomorrow may be hotter. Both the Met Office and the BBC agree on 38° C tomorrow. Once again it will be almost non stop sunshine, but only the Met Office syas there will be a thunderstorm at 10pm, and that will be followed by rain. After tomorrow the weather returns to normal, and there might even be a bit of rain.

  It was quite a good day yesterday, and possibly better than expected. One of the first things I did was to wash a medium big bath towel. That took quite a bit of physical effort - it was very heavy when saturated with water, and wringing out by hand was a struggle. I had to do the wash in two stages because that towel needed 5 rinses before the rinse water was starting to run clear. Ideally it could have done with 7 rinses, but after 5 I did the final soak in fabric conditioner, and after wringing it out I hung it on the line to dry.

  I am not sure what time it was when I hung it on the line, but I seem to recall it was halfway through the wash when Jodie rang me. She said she wasn't feeling well - tummy trouble apparently - and decided it would be unwise to come over for our afternoon beer tasting session. That suited me well because I wanted to be very careful about what I ate after a few high blood glucose readings. Putting fresh batteries in the meter helped, but I still didn't want to take chances.

  With a more sane blood glucose reading after changing the batteries, I decided I would allow myself one big bowl of instant noodles for a slightly early lunch. At that time I though I needed them against a large intake of beer later. As it happened I needed have worried about beer because I actually had no booze at all yesterday. It took a little while to cool down after those hot and spicy noodles, but after that I did more physical work.

  The next job was to hand wash 2 t-shirts and 5 or 6 pairs of underpants. It was a far easier job than washing the big towel, and as usual it only needed three rinses before the fabric conditioner. The big towel had only been on the line about 2 hours, and maybe less, but it was bone dry, and hot to the touch. I took it in before I hung out the second lot of laundry. That was all the important chores done, and I could relax....but not for long.

  The other job that had to be done was to select, edit, and enter the details into my huge spreadsheet, of all the trains I saw on my quest to a couple of the limits for free travel on my Freedom Pass the day before. It was quite a fruitful day out, and I took photos of a massive 47 trains that I had not recorded before. It was a good demonstration of just how big the South West Railway operation is. Although it may only be 2 trains an hour at the limits, inside zones 1 to 3 it is almost a metro service with trains every 10 minutes.

  It is a peculiar thing that working on one photo only seems to take a minute or so, but the more you do, the longer it seems to take. Some of the problem is fatigue - mostly brain and eye fatigue - but some of it is probably that just doing one photo actually takes longer than a single minute - particularly if you are double checking your work to avoid making mistakes (something I should do to me writing here, but there never seems to be time to do any more than type it out as it comes vomiting out of my brain).

  I took a few breaks while working to rest my eyes, or if not to rest my eyes then to change from looking at a PC monitor to looking at a book. Eventually it was time to start thinking about food. I wanted to be extra safe about what I ate after the shock of a couple of days of high blood glucose readings, although in reality I can place most of the blame for those on the Indian takeaway I ate over the course of 2 days.

  I didn't, and still don't have a great deal of food here at the moment, and so my choices yesterday were a bit limited. Fortunately I did have two little gem lettuces in good condition, and I had one of them with tuna and anchovies. The anchovies were an experiment. I am still not sure whether it was a good or bad idea. With the tuna being rather dry I was probably a bit too enthusiastic when I squirted on mayonnaise to complete the meal.

  TV seemed a bit sparse last night, but I did watch an old episode of Have I Got News For You. That finished at 10pm, and I went to bed to read for a while. I expected it to be just for a short while, but I didn't seem to feel sleepy, and I may have read for almost an hour. I only stopped when I did when I came to the end of a chapter. I may not have felt sleepy, but as far as I am aware, I fell asleep very quickly once I turned the light off.

  I had one of those strange nights when I had no idea when I was dreaming, or when I was thinking about dreaming. I definitely had one dream that was like an added chapter to the book I am currently reading - "The Ringworld Engineers" by Larry Niven.  First of all "Ringworld" needs explaining. It is an artificial construct of a ring built around a sun with the ring about the same distance from the sun as The Earth is from our sun. The inner surface of the ring is habitable, and generally looks like standing on normal ground. The significant thing is that it provides a land area some three million times that of Earth !

  That give plenty of room to divide into sections where people (and things) from different planets live. Halfway through the book we learn that Earth, and many other habitable planets were seeded with people by very ancient aliens millions of years ago. This was actually the subject for another Larry Niven book " A World Out Of Time".  In the book I am reading our heroes surmise that these very ancient aliens must have moved many of the inhabitants of the worlds they seeded to live in their own areas on the ringworld.

  Over many millions of years the people on the ringworld slowly mutated, and could no longer inseminate each other despite all coming from the same original stock. This gives rise to a thing called rishathra. It is basically sex between very similar, but different species. It is used both recreationally and to seal bargains and deals between these different races. It is finally at this point that my dreams come into play. It is also the point when I have no idea if I thought of the ideas while awake, and dreamed about them, or if I dreamed about them, and the dreams inspired waking thoughts.

 To keep it short, the basic idea is that our hero, Louise Wu by name, comes from Earth, and humans on Earth have not been exposed to whatever has caused the inhabitants of the ringworld to mutate as they have. It means our hero is much closer to the original stock that was seeded to many other planets. In the course of his adventures he has rishathra to seal many deals or bargains, or maybe just for fun. My dream was about an extra chapter to the book where our hero is being chased by many aliens who he has managed to get pregnant because he is still just compatible with the later mutated people to be fertile. When I think about it, the dream/idea nay have been inspired by the title of the next book in the series - "The Ringworld Children" - which I have read, but can't seem to remember a thing about it.

  Overall I seemed to sleep very well last night. For maybe 15 minutes it did seem that I was going to get upo at about 4.30am. It was light, but it seemed very early. Fortunately I did get back to sleep, and slept for a surprisingly long time. Made sure I was well hydrated before I checked my blood glucose. I drank a full pint of chilled water first, and while I was drinking that I gave the birds an early breakfast.

  I was hoping my blood glucose level would be a fair bit lower this morning. It was just 8.2mmol/l which would be very good if I had not taken extra care about what I was eating. It does suggest that I am/was still coming down from the excesses of that Indian takeaway from three nights back, or whenever it was. The good thing is that while I may not have been watching my sugar intake enough, I do seem to have watched the calories a bit, and I may have lost a quarter of an inch around my waist...........if it's not just self delusion.

  I can make a couple of predictions about today. I definitely want to get some shopping from Tesco today, and I want to do a bit more laundry. I think I need to wash the shorts I am wearing because they have a few dinner stains on them ! I also have another couple of t-shirts to wash and a couple of pair of underpants. I have no idea what I will do for the rest of the day. I was thinking of doing something heroic like going for a 3 or more mile walk at the hottest hour of the day, but that is starting to appeal less. I still have another 15 train photographs to prepare for inclusion in my huge spreadsheet listing all my train photos. The other day I think I may have food a few more old ones from my archives to add to it as well. I may just spend the afternoon at my PC with the curtains closed to keep out the hot sun, but mostly I'll be making it all up as I go along.
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