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August 2022 September 2022

Monday 26th September 2022
 07:47 BST
  I suspect that all the sunshine or sunny spells we had yesterday may have raised the temperature a bit above 17° C, although when in the shade it did feel a little cool. There were a few times in the afternoon when some dark clouds drifted across the sky, and it did feel like it might rain, but half an hour, or even less later, the sun would break through again.
                              and gloomy morning
  The weather forecast has got this morning about right. It is around 12° C, and thick dark clouds make it very gloomy. I didn't actually see any heavy rain falling, but it is certainly wet outside. The rain is now so light that it is impossible to see it from indoors, but maybe it has stopped for a while. The latest revision to the forecast has only changed 9am to light rain, but otherwise it is as shown in the screenshot above - a cold and dull day. Tomorrow may only feature some spells of light rain from a medium bright cloudy sky, but at just 13° C it is going to feel rather cold.

  Yesterday was a rather good day with just one little catch in it. I was feeling better than many recent days, and the bright sunshine was beckoning me. Also, I had a strong desire to test my new camera in the real world. I managed to get myself ready to go out just before 11am, and emerged into warm sunshine wearing just my sleeveless denim jacket as my coat. I headed towards Catford station for a bit of train spotting.

  I made no special commitment to go to any particular place, but once I felt comfortable out there I decided I might head towards Clapham Junction if it felt good. I initially got the train to Denmark Hill station. On a weekday it can see a lot of trains going through, but on a Sunday it was a lot quieter. I ended up getting the next London Overground train to Clapham Junction station (as I thought I would end up doing).
class 707 train
  One of the first sights I saw was a solitary class 707 train in the sidings. I thought this picture came out really well even though it was taken through a less than clean window on the footbridge that connects all the platforms. Sooner or later this train will be handed over to Southeastern trains, and painted in their blue livery. They will be replaced on South Western Railways by their even newer class 701 trains - which have on board toilets !
class 701 and
                              707 train
  Also in the sidings, and once again photographed through a dirty window pane, were a class 707 and class 701 standing side by side. I have yet to see the inside of a class 701 train. I was hoping I might see one in service that I could take a short ride on, but I'm not sure if any have gone into service yet. I expect that apart from the addition of toilets, the interior is identical to all the 700 series trains I have been on.
class 458
  Another picture taken through a window, and this time it looks very obvious. It could be said this was a waste of a shot when testing my new camera out, but it was also an opportunity to try and find pictures of trains that were not listed in my ever expanding spreadsheet of all trains (or train numbers) photographed. This class 458 was one not previously recorded. These are not my favourite trains ! When I was working one of these would very occasionally turn up in the morning instead of the usual class 455 train. The first time was good because it was a novelty, but it turned out their 2 + 3 seating was incredibly cramped, and the aisle between the banks f seats was very narrow. Maybe they have changed them since those days.
another class
                              701 train
 This is the first picture taken under ideal conditions with my new camera. The sun was out, and over my left shoulder, so the train was well lit. This shrunken picture, for this web page, doesn't really show how crisp the original picture was. In that respect the new camera was not really much better, but where it as a good improvement was in the amount of noise/grain. Now and then a passing cloud meant that a picture would be under exposed. Brightening up such pictures can make them look grainy on some of my camera, but the new one was far better. It is what you might expect for a camera meant for professionals.
  One of amusing aspects (for me) of using a zoom lens is the odd effect of foreshortening the picture.  In this picture of a class 444 train it looks like the train will have to go around an impossible curve. In real life, to the human eye, the curve is very mild.
signalling works
                              in progress
  While I was at Clapham Junction the platforms usually used by Southern trains were closed because engineering work was taking place. It was work on new signals. This road/rail vehicle and trolley was conveniently parked near the end of platform 11, and I was able to get this snap of the unusual vehicle.

  After spending no more than an hour at Clapham Junction I got an Overground train back to Denmark Hill station. My timing was not good. It seemed like I had just missed a train back to Catford station. However I could cut the wait almost in half by getting a Sidcup bound train as far as Lewisham, That gave me the opportunity to snap several more train pictures before the train to Catford Bridge arrived.

  At Catford Bridge I took the long way home via the little supermarket on Catford Bridge. I topped up my almost empty stock of instant noodles, and also bought some little "salad pots" containing lentils, chick peas, and other fart generating pulses. I had three of the five pots I bought for my dinner when I got home. The story of those salad pots continues later.

  I felt tired by otherwise good when I got home. It seemed to have been a worthwhile outing, and the best thing was that the expected aches and pains were either far milder, or even non existent. It really seems that coming off those blood thinning tablets was a very good thing. It is not a complete cure yet - for instance my right elbow is aching a bit this morning, but it is mild enough to be almost ignorable.

  I was very happy with my new camera, and perhaps also how quickly I have mastered using it. The latter is not strictly true - I have mastered the more common settings, but I think I want to check the manual for a few more settings. Mosts settings I am well familiar with, but how they are set is rather different to my other cameras. I did expect them to be very similar to my Nikon D80 and D3200 - both of which are quite similar in many respects - but I suppose a professional camera has to be a bit different.

  The only thing I am not happy with (tongue in cheek !) is how easy it is to take far too many usable pictures with this new camera. I actually shot off 176 pictures yesterday. Many were of the same train from slightly different positions, and some were burst shots, but it is an awful lot of pictures to get through. I use the present tense because I only managed to get through about half of them yesterday. Checking my train pictures spreadsheet, and filling that in for a new train, takes a bit of time. In many respects my editing of the used pictures was mostly just a bit of straightening, cropping, and resizing. It was rare to have to do more, although as I mentioned further up the page, some pictures were under exposed when the sun went in, and they needed a bit of care.

  I did very little yesterday afternoon and evening except look at pictures. Of course I took some breaks, and I think I even had a snooze as well as stopping for dinner, but I didn't have time to turn the TV on. I wasn't really keeping track of time, but I think I went to bed around 9pm, and I think I fell asleep pretty quickly. Until 5am this morning I seemed to sleep well. I did get up for a pee several times, but each time I fell asleep again with no difficulty - as far as I can remember.

 After 5am I couldn't seem to get back to sleep again. I thought I felt sleepy, but sleep wouldn't come. I also thought I felt hungry, but a couple of hours later proved that was the wrong diagnosis. My blood glucose was up a bit this morning compared to yesterday, but 8.3mmol/l is still below my typical average. I thought it was low enough, and that I felt hungry enough that I deserved two bowls of instant noodles.

  It did not take long for the truth to be revealed. It was not hunger but bloat. Yesterday's lunch of lentils and chick peas and stuff did just what they are famous for - wind, in large quantities. Eating those hot noodles tipped me over the edge, and in quite a short space of time I was rushing to the toilet. I barely made it last time. I didn't need clean underwear by the skin of my teeth, but it did feel so messy that I had a shower afterwards. I think I feel OK now, but it would come as no surprise if there was yet another lentil that desired to exit.

  The only thing I hope to do sometime today is to go to Tesco - mainly for Diet Coke and bird seed for the poor starving, very fat pigeons. As I mentioned above, I still have half the pictures I took yesterday to sift through looking for any to add to my spreadsheet of train photos. One little odd job I would like to do today is to see if I can find the original of a video I shot to upload to social media. It was recorded at a Life Of Brian gig, and while the sound was very good, and the camera control was very smooth (suggesting I used a Sony camcorder) the picture quality is horrible. I feel pretty certain I can improve it a bit using tools in my video editor that were not there before in earlier versions of it.
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