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Tuesday 26th July 2022
 08:52 BST
  It's hard to describe yesterday's weather because it was so mixed up. One constant was the temperature, and it was about 23° C in the afternoon. Forecasts of rain came and went every time the forecasts were revised. The BBC were adamant that yesterday would be a dry day. At least the Met Office admitted there would be rain, but they got the times and quantities wrong. There were two showers in the morning, and one lasted a few minutes. The other barely lasted long enough to notice it. There was anther brief, and quite light shower in the afternoon. I think there may have been a brief light shower once or twice in the evening. None did anything for the brown lawn. There were a few sunny periods in the afternoon, but the overall feel of the day was dull.
                              sunny spells later in the afternoon
  The early version of today's weather forecast, as shown above, said light rain until 10pm. The latest revision shows no rain at all, but does agree it will be very grey this morning. Maybe from 3pm there will be some sunny spells for a few hours before the sky clouds over, but perhaps only light cloud. Today is a long trousers day with the cool morning, and at just 21° C, not much more than a cool afternoon. After a dull start there could be a few hours of sunny spells tomorrow morning, but the afternoon will (hopefully) be a bit dull. Once again the afternoon may not exceed 21° C.

   It all depends on how you define productive... By some definitions I had a very productive day yesterday. The second thing I did was to go shopping in Aldi. There were a few things I needed, and a few things that were useful, and everything else was really to help fill, or make look filled, a small trolley so I could go through a manned checkout.

  The first thing I did was to complete washing the greasy, sweaty towel I mentioned yesterday. I said I had left it soaking in bio detergent overnight. I had to wring out as much of that detergent as possible because I find it to have an unpleasant, rather chemical like smell. I then gave it three rises before starting the washing process again with normal detergent - followed by three rinses and finished with fabric conditioner. I think the heaviest rain of the day, which was still fairly insubstantial, fell minutes after I had hung that towel on the line to dry.

  As soon as I had the towel on the line I could wash myself by having a shower. Once I was clean and dry I got dressed to go out to Aldi. I did allow some time to cool down before I went out, and by then the morning was almost over. It seemed a pleasant walk to Aldi in so much as my legs seemed to be working well, but the thick clouds overhead didn't feel my with much confidence. I think There may have been a very light shower while I was in the store.

  I bought about 7 canned products. Five were soups, and the other was canned beans. One can was "taco beans". What I didn't realise was that the beans were in a tomato sauce that was probably responsible for making the sugar content too high for me. I was intending to wash the bean juice off before adding herbs and a bit of balsamic dressing to make a sort of bean salad. I ended up having to wash the tomato sauce off instead of the "bean juice". It was a messier job, but I hope I got rid of the biggest source of sugar.

  I did buy one little, or not so little, extravagance. It was tray of ready to cook southern fried chicken thighs and drumsticks. I don't know why I bought it because I knew it would be rubbish, and the breadcrumb coating probably contains a lot of sugar to help it stick to the chicken, and to go a deep brown when cooked. I must admit I have never investigated the ingredients list to check what is no more than a theory of mine.

  One extra treat, which added to an already heavy load to carry home, was a couple of bottles of beer to be drunk in the evening. One was an Aldi special, brewed for them in a brewery I have never heard of in Dorset. The other was possibly another special brewed by Shepherd Neame in Kent. Oddly enough neither of the beers was that nice. The third beer, a red mild that came with an order for assorted beers 6 or 7 weeks ago, was the nicest beer.
last nights beer
  As soon as I got home from Aldi I started cooking the southern fried chicken. I think it took 40 minutes, although maybe 30 to 35 minutes would have been enough, and left the breadcrumb coating a bit lighter in colour. I rested and read some stuff on the internet while I waited for it to cook. I then ate slightly over half the pack just by itself. As I remarked above, it wasn't that enjoyable, and the silly thing is that I knew it would not be very good. I regret buying it now - partly because it wasn't enjoyable, and partly because I believe, rightly or wrongly, that it was a significant source of sugar.

  After I had finished eating I lay on my bed to read, and also to have a little snooze. It was after that snooze that I embarked upon what may, or may not have been a productive job. I had recently found a DVD-R disk that I am sure I burned, and it was full of mp3 files - all complete albums. What I am not sure is if I originally ripped those albums. Most looked like they were the promo CDs sent to me by a couple of record companies during my days on the (Pirate) radio.

  There was a problem with the files, and that was the file names were very abbreviated. There were possibly 15 or more albums I wanted to add to my master collection, but before I could do that I had to rename all the files and folders to show the band, the album, the track number, and the song title. Fortunately that information was included in the id3 tags for the songs. If it hadn't it could have been really frustrating trying to find the information on the internet - particularly so because some albums were demo albums and may not have ever been released in the same format.

  It took quite a few hours to do this job, but it is debatable if most of it could be described as "productive". Quite a few of those albums were things like black or death metal, and basically unlistenable to my ears these days. I gave away virtually all of the original CDs - in one case to someone who wanted to use the silvery disks as bird scarers for his garden. I probably should have deleted the mp3 files to save on storage space, but somehow that seemed wasteful.

  My dinner was almost healthy, and maybe would have done if it didn't include the last of the souther fried chicken. It was basically a salad, and the original idea was to see what Aldi's own version of pre-cooked chicken breasts were like. I liked the Tesco version because it did look like some of the cooking process included roasting, but I think the Aldi version was either microwaved, or high temperature steamed. They seemed rather insipid.

  I spent the rest of the evening watching TV. Some of it was broadcast, and some was recordings of broadcast (yet more Sherlock Holmes). At 10pm I was in bed and reading. Half an hour later I tried to get to sleep. It seemed to take some time to get to sleep. It was one of those nights when the temperature was not good, and when I couldn't get comfortable of other assorted reasons. I eventually dropped off for a few hours.

  It was probably around 1am when I woke up needing a pee (well I did have an excuse last night because I had drunk almost 3 pints of beer). It seemed a bit stuffy, and I could here noises I didn't like. One such noise might have been a wired, outdoor temperature sensor rubbing against the window. I opened the window, pulled the sensor in, and left the window open. As well as any internal noises, I also had outdoor noises to put up with when I tried to get to sleep again.

  I did fall asleep for almost another 2 hours when I woke up at about 3am. I am not sure if it was hearing a very annoying noise, or if it was the desire to pee, but I had my pee and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't because I kept hearing a noise that sounded like rodent teeth chewing from what seemed to be the floor at the bottom of the windows. It was a noise that had disturbed me the night before. This time it was even more annoying because I really sounded like a mouse in my bedroom, or possibly under the floorboards trying to get into my bedroom.

  The rest of my sleep seemed pretty lousy this morning. With the benefit of daylight I tried to see any sign of a mouse from where I think the sound was coming from. Even if it had picked up a dropped nut, and taken it to under the window to eat I should have seen mouse dropping, but the only thing I could see that may have hinted of a passing mouse was a bit of cable that seemed to have little dust on it for about an inch. What I can definitely see are a few dropped nuts by my PC chair, and no mouse has claimed them. I have to admit I am perplexed. It is almost as if the noise was something under the floorboards trying to chew through to emerge into my bedroom, but I can't imagine how a mouse could get under the floorboards in this part of the house. One other possibility was that it was something outside the window, but I can't imagine what.

  Last night was definitely bad news, and after a couple of nights I will be sensitised to react to any creak I hear in the night even if it is just a pop bottle expanding with gas, or the foam in my seat returning to it's normal form after I haven't sat on it for a while. One job today will be to examine underneath the table that stands in the window bay. If I find any real evidence, like mouse dropping, I will put a couple of traps down.

  There is other bad news this morning, and I am blaming that southern fried chicken - my blood glucose is back up to 9.3mmol/l. That is not dangerous, but is close to it, and the worst thing is that it is continues to point to a rising intolerance to sugar. Sooner or later it seems I will move to be a type 1 diabetic, and have to go through all the rigmarole of injecting insulin. The only hope is to lose a fair bit of weight, but that is not easy when for most days it is eating that provides the only real pleasure of the day.

  Today I am going to try and fast until dinner time. To do so really relies on going out where there are no temptations to eat. At the moment it is too dull for good photography, but from 1pm is is supposed to brighten up a bit - but only to the extent of the dark cloud turning to white cloud. I think what I would like to do is to get to Watford Junction station. It is a big station with hopefully a good view to take pictures of trains. It is also well outside the travelcard zones, but travel to there is from using my Freedom Pass on TFL run trains (London Overground).
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