|My Diary/Blog For the Month
of August 2014
Yesterday was another relatively nice day. It did cloud over a few times, but as far as I am aware it didn't rain, and the temperature rose to a comfortable 20° C. Today has been better. There has been far more sunshine, and I don't think there was any time when if it wasn't sunny, it was at least bright. It's been feeling warm too. The sun is now getting low in the sky, but it is still 19° C, and it may have been a couple of degrees higher earlier on. Sadly it all goes wrong tomorrow. The day won't be completely wet, but it is forecast to be dull with occasional showers. However.....after tomorrow we could see some very warm days coming, but how long it will last is anyone's guess.
I had a quite lazy evening last night, and that was followed by the best type of sleep there is. I'm not sure what time I turned out the light, but like the night before it was late for a weekday, and early for a weekend......I think it was around 10pm, and I fell asleep quite easily. The best bit was that after some good sleep I woke up quite naturally after a little over 8 hours sleep. I think it was just after 6am when I woke up, and that was like an hours lay in compared to weekdays - although I realise that in some peoples book it was horrendously early for a Saturday.
It is a bit of a shame that I didn't wake up ready and eager to do something "exciting". Like any other day, it took well over an hour to feel like doing anything at all, although unlike any other day, I hadn't travelled for well over an hour to Earlsfield to come to slowly come to that conclusion ! My only priority was to wash my work shirts. That was more a matter of convenience than a necessity. I think I have enough serviceable short sleeve shirts to last two and a half weeks, and if included my long sleeve shirts, I could probably last 5 weeks before I ran out of clean shirts, but that would be rather silly !
The main thing I've done today, apart from struggling not to eat too much bad stuff, is some photo editing. It started off with a desire to scan some old photos (traditional ones taken with my old SLR camera on chemical film) into my PC, and I then expanded it to include some photos that I had professionally transferred to Kodak PhotoCD. It was a slow job that seemed to take ages, and although I reached a natural place to stop, I still haven't scanned all the photos I wanted to do.
First up, a couple of pictures from the PhotoCD. In 1995 (I think) the Bolloms paint factory in Elmers End burnt down. It was only a few hundred yards across the main road, and railway line from where I used to work. I was lucky to get to work because the railway was suspended soon after I arrived. By early afternoon the fumes blowing towards us were so severe that we insisted on evacuating our building, and going home early. There was also a real danger of underground silos of solvents blowing up, and the fire brigade were quite happy to not have too many people nearby (although the enforced exclusion zone was fairly small). The fire had started in the early hours of the morning, and gossips soon started suggesting it was an "insurance job". By the end of the day the fire was well under control, and the next morning, when I took my photos, the fire brigade were mainly just damping everything down, and keeping chemicals and solvents cool with water sprays, but some parts were still burning. Steam and occasional smoke could be seen for at least a further 24 hours, and maybe longer.
Next up a few photos of trains taken on various travels around the network. First of all, one taken at Kensington Olympia station (that has been remodelled since I took this picture).
This is a class 117 DEMU on the shuttle that used to run between Clapham Junction and Wilseden Junction (sometimes known by various names like "the booze express" when the great British beer festival was on at Olympia).
This picture was taken at an open day at Rickmansworth sidings that coincided with a "Steam On The Met" day. On the far left is Sarah Siddons - the last operation electric locomotive that used to haul trains on the Metropolitan line (and is used for special to this day). In the centre is a Northern line train of 1959 stock (there's more about it here) It is now part of London Undergrounds heritage fleet.
Here's the same train in passenger service at Woodside Park station on The Northern Line.
30th August 2014
Yesterday's weather was fairly good, but there were a few times when it threatened to be quite bad. It was bright and sunny when I left work to walk to the station for my journey home at the end of the working day. It felt so warm with my coat on that I took it off. By the time I got to Waterloo it was dull and grey, and looked as if it might rain at any moment. Back in Catford it did rain - just about. I think about half a thimble full of rain hit me in total on my way from the station to home via the Turkish supermarket. Today has been sort of similar. There have been some sunny periods, and some rather dull and overcast periods. There might have been the briefest splash of rain this morning, but that's all. Like yesterday, the temperature seems to have reached just a tickle over 20° C. It is looking like tomorrow will follow the same pattern as today.
Going to the gig on Thursday night, and subsequently getting to bed late, did leave me a bit tired yesterday, but it wasn't that bad, and I seemed to get my second wind on the way home. That left me in a sort of experimental mood - or I was overcome with a touch of madness. Despite having plenty of stuff for dinner at home, I had this idea that it might be interesting to have a rummage in the Turkish supermarket. I decided to try and stick with fruit and vegetables, and I knew that had some weird stuff in there.
One thing I was hoping to get, and was successful in doing so, was an artichoke. I also found some yellow dates, a cho cho, and aubergine, and some figs. I thought I bought some yellow courgettes too, but I must have decided not too. I think I mentioned how I watched my friend Jodie eat an artichoke in The Catford Constitutional Club last week, and I may have said how I wanted to re-acquaint myself with them. It is many years since I last tried an artichoke, and I have to admit that it was useful getting a reminder of how to eat them.
I cooked the artichoke in a bowl with a little water in it, in the microwave for about 12 minutes, and it seemed to be cooked quite well. I can't honestly say that I enjoyed it. It was pleasant, but I guess it lacked some mysterious wow ! factor that some unfamiliar food can be imagined to have. I'm unsure if I have had "raw" figs before, although the lack of surprise suggests I have had them before - nice but not wonderful again. The yellow dates were "interesting" it seems they are unfamiliar to many people judging by the queries about them I found on Google. Basically they are very firm, almost crunchy, with an initial astringent, very slightly bitter, taste that is followed by quite a sweet taste. I think I could grow to like them a lot - although I am wary about eating too many at one time - possibly with good reason.
Most of my dinner last night was close to healthy, but maybe it was because I was tired, or maybe it was because it was Friday, or maybe I just have an insatiable curiosity, but my dinner ended up included a tin of beefburgers. I am pretty sure I've had tinned beefburgers before at some point in my life, and I seem to recall they weren't terribly wonderful. The ones I had last night were very peculiar - probably because they must have been made from 100% mechanically recovered meat, and had a very improbable texture. The flavour was not unpleasant, but had nothing to recommend about it !
Sometime between course I found the energy to wash a shirt and some underwear. I didn't really mean to do that laundry. My original intention was just to let the shirt, that was white with chilli sauce stains down the front, soak in "Bio" soap in the hope that the chilli stain would be completely eradicated by the time I did the rest of the laundry - and it almost was, but I couldn't leave the bowl it was soaking in, in the bath overnight because I needed the bath for my morning shower. So I plunged my hands, suitably protected in rubber gloves, into the now stone cold, and most unpleasant soapy water, and completed the washing process, and all the rinsing afterwards. That leaves me 4 more work shirts to do, and I think they going to be done tomorrow now.
I didn't have the inclination or energy to stay up late, as I could have done on a Friday night, and I probably went to bed at about my normal time for a weekday - around 9pm. I guess I really was tired last night though because I think I fell asleep almost instantly, and apart from when I woke up at about 1am convinced that I needed to get up to go to work, I slept solidly right through to about 6am - which is a lay in for me.
I might have gone back to sleep again, but I saw Aleemah this morning, and that meant tidying the place up a bit, and other assorted chores. By 10am I was at the station waiting for her, and 15 to 20 minutes later I was in the Wetherspoons pub drinking beer ! Most of life is crap, but little bits of it are good ! As usual, I only actually had two halves, but it all helps. After We had had our breakfasts we went to Aldi. I walked past the biscuits. I walked past the cakes. I walked past the crisps, peanuts, chocolate, and quite a lot of other stuff, but I did get more fruit, and a few vegetables. I also bought a couple of ready made sandwiches because beer doesn't always fill you up !
I ate those sandwiches while we watched the last three episodes of Madigan's Quest on DVD, and they filled a small hole somewhere in me. Aleemah went home at about 2.30pm. Fast forward 4 hours, and I've had more to eat. It was a meal that I prepared, and mostly cooked last night. It was a medley of vegetables in a rich tomato puree and Oxo sauce. In theory, maybe a poor theory based on the idea that no fat or oil was added to the dish, it should have been quite a healthy sort of meal.
I'm sure that the courgette had no food value, and I wonder if the aubergine had anything significant. The onions were mainly fibre and farts, and only the potatoes were a bit naughty. One thing I do know is that within 30 minutes of eating it I had to run to the toilet, and again, and again - but only three very desperate times. I can't blame the contents of that meal for it, but maybe all that hot liquid helped to ferment something I ate last night - which is utter nonsense of course, but for 20 minutes I was definitely very uncomfortable !
There was one other thing I did last night while I had my second wind (which fortunately was a very different sort of wind that that of the previous paragraph), and that was to go through, and edit some of the photos I took on Thursday night. Here's one of them showing all four members of Stone Blind.
29th August 2014
It turned out rather nice yesterday. All the nasty grey cloud disappeared late in the morning, and the afternoon was fairly sunny. There were a few occasions when it clouded over again, but they were quite brief. It all made for a warm afternoon, and a pleasantly mild evening. The top temperature was just a tiny bit short of 22° C. This morning started out quite bright, but a bit cool at just 13° C. It was sunny for most of my journey into work, although the sun was still rather low in the sky. It was a bit strange at Waterloo because it seemed like there was just one small leaky cloud directly overhead. In all usual lines of sight it was blue sky, but look straight up and a rain drop would hit you in the eye ! The forecast says there could be some showers early this afternoon, but the rest of the day should be dry (hopefully) and it might end up as warm as yesterday.
Yesterday was a rather good day. For a start it was sunny when I went home from work, and that sunshine meant it felt too warm to wear my coat home. Another good thing was that I didn't feel tired last night - or maybe I didn't allow myself to feel tired. Last Thursday, when I also wanted to go out for a beer and see a bit of a gig, I felt so tired I was in bed, fast asleep, very soon after 7pm. Last night I felt fine......well maybe not as good as I would wish, but good enough.
I certainly felt good enough to control my eating. I didn't want to go out boozing on an empty stomach, but I didn't want to eat too much. In fact I ate surprisingly little. All I had was a small portion of steam in the bag new potatoes with herbs and butter. Fortunately there is only enough butter (actually a butter and oil hybrid) to add a shiny glaze, and hold the herbs on, but it was still probably a bit naughty. Those potatoes, despite looking almost lost on a large dinner plate, did the trick - both staving off any hinger pains, and acting as a bit of a buffer to the beer.
I didn't actually drink that much beer. I had a pint and a half in The Catford Constitutional Club, and I'm sure I only had two pints in The Catford Ram. The second pint in The Ram was of a recently introduced beer called DNA. It's brewed by Charles Well, the people who partnered with Youngs, and have now just about obliterated them, and it is horrible ! The first pint, which was a pint of Guinness, went down far better !
Last nights band, Stone Blind, are both good and bad. I find it hard to put my finger on what is bad about them. I think it is that while all of them are good at their individual instruments, they don't compliment each other. It's as if they would all like to be playing different styles of music, and in a way that is reflected in the diverse songs they cover, It's all not helped by Jamie, the lead singer (and keyboard player) has a unique vocal style that doesn't sit easy on my ear.
Despite my moans, if I could have stayed to the end I would have, but with work beckoning this morning I could only allow myself to stay until just before 10pm. I did have an idea that I might be able to get home, and in bed by 10pm. I've done it before, and last night I almost did it. The only trouble is that the beer had left me feeling peckish, and I was having trouble fighting that. I managed to fend off the chip shop, and the fried chicken shop(s), but I couldn't resist grilling a couple of lean burgers when I got in. If I hadn't overdone the Heinz (mayonnaise like) blue cheese sauce on them they might even have been a fairly low fat, and slightly low calorie snack. With the small(ish) amount of beer, and the small amount of food, it was quite a successful night.
I finally got to bed at 10.30pm, and although I seemed to have a little trouble getting to sleep, I was completely oblivious to the world by 11pm. I think I slept OK, and I woke up feeling far better than I thought I would. I thought I would wake up feeling like death, bit it was only like a light coma ! I don't seem to have a hangover - which after only 3.5 pints of beer is not surprising - and I don't feel tired - yet ! I guess I've only got two complaints this morning. One is just a poor choice of shoes making the soles of my feet hurt, and the other is down to the zit on my inner thigh.
That zit, or whatever it should be called (it is far too small to be a boil) has opened up, and it now occasionally weeping blood and stuff. That is unpleasant by itself, but it is also still quite sore - particularly when chafed by my underwear. So walking is doubly uncomfortable this morning. There are pains at both ends of my legs ! I guess the rest of me is bearing up quite well. It seems that the caffeine restriction that I am still experimenting with, and/or the calorie/fat/sugar restriction that I am also playing with, is doing some good. All I know is that I shouldn't have written about not feeling tired - I am now constantly yawning !
There is a new tree on the concourse of Waterloo station, and it is full of lemons !
28th August 2014
The weather was not quite as good as it was forecast yesterday. The morning was bright, but not actually sunny. The forecast suggested that the sun should have broken through by mid morning, and that there would be sunny periods for the rest of the day, but I'm not sure if the sun came out at all. That meant that it stayed a little cooler than forecast - maybe only 18° C instead of the 20° C we were expecting. I don't think we were expecting it to get very cloudy during the night either. The outcome of that was that it was a lot less cool than recent mornings, and it was raining until just before I walked to the station. It is supposed to brighten up this morning, but there is no sign of it yet. In fact I would not be surprised if there wasn't more rain. If the sun does eventually come it it could drive the temperature up to 20° C or beyond (one forecast suggested as high as 22° C.).
Last night I achieved something I've been aiming for all week, and maybe longer. I had a very healthy dinner. It was low fat, low salt, low calorie, and had lots of fibre in it (I think). It was skinless, boneless chicken stewed with leeks, mange tout, shallots, and courgette in thin chicken stock made using a low salt Oxo cube. I won't mention the snack I had earlier which was probably quite high in fat and salt, and I won't mention the sweet nectarine I had afterwards because......
If I had a similar dinner every night, and a similar breakfast, every day for a year I would soon get back into my red jeans (where soon = one year !). I'm not sure if I feel any different this morning even after being almost careful in the preceeding few days. One possible difference is that I think I feel a little less tired or fatigued this morning. It may be that some other distractions made me feel that the walk from home to the station was unusually easy this morning. One distraction was the feeling that the shoes I was wearing were not the most comfortable I have, and another distraction was the pain from a small zit on my inner thigh.
Perhaps zit makes it sound smaller than it actually is, but nevertheless, the amount of discomfort still seems out of all proportion to it's size. Such zits are often caused by high blood sugar levels, and that is slightly worrying because I haven't had anything with any overt added sugar, and nothing with significant amounts of natural sugar in it except fruit (but fruit is good for you !). It is possible that I am developing type 1 diabetes, but I guess I'll worry about that when my feet fall off (or I could check my blood sugar sometime).
Tonight all good intentions have the possibility of being blown away. There is boozing in The Catford Constitutional Club followed by boozing and a gig in The Catford Ram. There is the potential for a lot of boozing there ! I haven't booked tomorrow off work so I have to be a bit careful tonight. My plan is to get to the CCC late so I have just one pint in there. Then to only spend an hour or two in The Ram. In theory I'll be back home and in bed soon after 10pm, but theories are only theories and..........
27th August 2014
The weather has started to improve - a bit ! Yesterday was still very cool - just 15° C at best - but I seem to recall it was dry, brighter, and there were some sunny spells. Today promises to be even better apart from a rather cold start - just 11° C ! It's been fairly bright, but without any actual sunshine, so far this morning, but the forecast says we should eventually see a fair amount of sunshine. The best bit, assuming the forecast is not just pure fantasy, is that the temperature could get up to a pleasant 20° C by late this afternoon. Tomorrow might see a splash of rain in the evening, and it may not be quite as warm, but should be reasonably good compared to, say, the bank holiday weekend.
Yesterday morning was one of the better mornings at work (where "better" = "least worst"), although the afternoon was not terribly exciting. In the morning I did some easy hard work - that's work that is relatively easy for me, but is difficult for anyone without my skills - which nobody here has. Despite that it was still nice to leave work and head home. If it didn't take 70 minutes to get home, the usual time, it might even have been enjoyable going home.
I was going to try and eat as healthily as possible last night, and I almost did. The main thing that spoiled it was that I remembered I had an opened packet of of some Spanish dry cured sausage in the cupboard. I decided to use it up before it went off. Like all sausages, particularly continental ones, it had a lot of fat in it - at least I think it did, but I couldn't read the microscopic writing on the pack to find out if it was pork or donkey meat (it was bought from Aldi. So it was probably pork). Apart from that it was all vegetables and fruit - so I had my 5 a day yesterday !
I went to bed last night feeling fairly full - which was probably not what I was aiming for, but hey ho ! I don't think I slept particularly well, but it wasn't bad. I tried to go to bed quite early, but I couldn't get to sleep until almost 10pm, and then I was up again 15 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me. I must admit that I didn't feel quite as awful as I usually do when I woke up. My back, or in fact my entire torso, was not as stiff and aching as usual, and that was good news. Now I am finally at work I just feel as crap as any other moderately good day.
While on my way home yesterday I spotted a small stand on the concourse of Waterloo station. It was manned by a very bored looking man !
The work that has stopped Southern and Fist Capital Connect trains calling, or indeed even approaching London Bridge station continues this morning. Somehow it is all going to be finished by the end of this month - or at least finished enough to allow some of those trains back into London Bridge. This morning I pointed my camera (stupidly set to low resolution) through the train window, and videoed a couple of minutes of my journey. (Note: sometimes embedding my own video here works, and sometimes it's crap - keep your fingers crossed !).
26th August 2014
The front page of this morning's Metro sums up yesterday quite adequately. Now let's never mention it again.
Today has already scored one thing over yesterday. After a desperately gloomy, but dry journey to Earlsfield the sun did it's best to shine. Of course it failed to completely break through the grey cloud, but at least it was bright enough to remind us that it's still out there somewhere. It was 15° C when I got up this morning, and the most optimistic forecast says it will only climb to 17° C by 5pm. There might, and it's a bit of a long shot, be a few brief sunny periods this morning, but the chances of a shower are much greater, but the last few hours of the day should/could be dry, and maybe bright too.
There isn't much to say about last night, or indeed the whole of yesterday. It was dull, dreary, drab, cold, grey, boring, tedious, and double boring ! Until I cracked open a bottle of Diet Coke in the evening I had no stimulus at all apart from food - which was not ideal when I was trying to avoid it. Although I had far too many snacks and meals than my most optimistic imagination thought I should have, I did at least try to only eat fairly innocent stuff.
It had mixed results on me this morning. I woke up after quite a nice sleep - although why being woken up by a noisy alarm is nice is hard to explain ! The only trouble was that I felt as stiff as a board, and my lower back, my upper back, my upper belly, and my lower belly were all rather painful until I started moving around and/or standing under a hot shower. Almost forgot - my legs were stiff and painful as well !
The only good bit was my left hand. I haven't mentioned it for sometime because there was nothing new to say about it, and maybe there isn't now, but some mornings, like this one, I almost imagine some improvement in it. For 50% of the time, and maybe more, I forget that I still have almost no proper sensation in my little and ring fingers, but sometimes I am very aware of it. This morning, like many mornings, although this one seemed a lot better than usual, for a little while after waking up those two fingers feel sort of close to normal. I know that sounds vague, but I can't really explain what "close to normal" actually feels like.
So this morning, with bits of my body working in varying amounts, I set out to the station wondering what the train service would be like. According the posters around the network (poorly taken picture on the left) "Southeastern will run normally, but services will be busier". A simplification of what the poster says is that this week there are no trains from the Croydon area going to, or through London Bridge station, and it suggests that people from that area may somehow get on services from Kent.
In fact there is only one line that could easily be affected, and that is The Mid Kent Line - the line that runs from Hayes (Kent) through Catford Bridge (my station) to Charing Cross. People from Croydon could get the Croydon Tramlink to Elmers End station on the Mid Kent line, and then get on a train that calls at my station on it's way to London. They didn't seem to do it this morning, and if anything my train was less busy than usual.
This picture doesn't show more than a few percent of the work going on at London Bridge, and the track going back towards New Cross Gate station, and what is does show it shows it very poorly. The easiest thing to spot is all the men in their orange hi-visibility clothing that can be seen as mere blurs on the right hand side of the picture, and even more indistinctly in other places. Meanwhile, just a hundred yards or so beyond the end of the platforms is the 07:52 to Charing Cross that has come up from somewhere further out than Bexleyheath, and is approaching platform 6 where I will be waiting for it to continue my journey on to the next stop - Waterloo East.
It is potentially possible that I might eat very healthily when I get home tonight. I have a shed load of vegetable to eat, and little else. It's going to be cold and damp when I get home so I nice hot stew will go down well. Maybe, just maybe, if I can include enough water in the recipe, I might be able to do what I did in the spring of last year, and at other times in the past, and that is to fill myself up with enough liquid and fibrous vegetable to feel full while consuming very few calories and stuff. The only trouble is that I don't know how well that will work without have a Bensons And Hedges afterwards. Sometimes I feel that not smoking is going to lead me to an early grave ! I'll just get bigger and bigger until I explode like Mr Creosote.
25th August 2014
Yesterday was far from perfect, but it wasn't terrible. There was more grey, or at least dull skies than sunshine, but there was some sunshine. It wasn't terribly warm, but it was mostly comfortable, and it was almost as good as dry (I think I saw one shower). Today is very. very different. It's almost as if the sun has forgotten to rise. The sky is a dull leaden grey, and it keeps raining. Maybe 16° C is not so bad, but the lack of light makes it feel cooler...quite chilly really. The forecast for today certainly brings no cheer - this is the best it will be all day - or maybe there is cause for a tiny muted cheer - this is also the worst it will be all day !
The boredom (or is ennui a better word ?) started very early in the evening, and that made for other temptations than booze. It would have been tempting, very tempting, to order something like an Indian takeaway, but somehow I resisted that. I had already eaten a fair bit during the day, and I initially tried to have just some fruit and water for an evening meal. I almost achieved that, but then I remembered I had a small pot of ready made "Italian style" pasta in the fridge, and I ended up eating that too.
This is what dinner/supper should have been. Three kiwi fruits, an apple, a pear, and a nectarine all washed down with a glass of tap water. It was nice, and it was also almost filling, but the acidity left me desiring something more. Some cheese would have been ideal, but cheese is terribly naughty stuff, and I've stopped buying it - until next time !
One of the problems with last night was that I didn't feel very sleepy. If I did the problem would have been solved - I would just gone to bed as early as need. It was actually midnight when I went to bed (at least I think it was). It was then that the whisky really came into play. I fell asleep easily and quickly, although I'm not sure I had a good night. I seem to remember my head feeling a bit thick when I woke up at around 3am, but I got back to sleep again, and while I probably didn't get a proper 8 hours sleep, I think I got sufficient.
At least I presume it was sufficient because all attempts to get more sleep after 9am failed miserably - which was a shame because I wanted to sleep through the depressing twilight. With the curtains still closed it was almost, but not quite like night outside. I think if I had checked the weather forecast earlier I would have re-doubled my efforts to go back to sleep, but now It's too late. I am up, breakfasted, dressed, but unwashed. Is there any point in getting washed today ? I don't think I'll be going anywhere, or seeing anyone. Today has the potential to be very boring - so boring that I could almost look forward to going to work tomorrow. Of course my religious beliefs, as a member of the complete and utter lazy bastards, doesn't actually allow me to look forward to going to work, but if I was a Catholic, or a Hindu, or a member of the 8th day Adventist followers-in-awe-and-fear of our great lord whatsisname, I might feel different.
I wonder if a mega-fest of Blake's 7 episode will keep me amused, or drive me mad ?
24th August 2014
The recent weather has not been that bad. Apart from on a couple of mornings it has not been seriously cold, and it has been mostly dry. Most days have seen some sunshine, and most afternoons have been warm enough for shirtsleeves, but all this doesn't feel like August should be...and yet it was not that dissimilar last year. We had one shower yesterday, and it happened while I was having an afternoon snooze so I didn't actually see the rain falling. I just woke up and saw that there were puddles in the road outside the window. It's been dry so far today. but it is currently very grey outside, and a shower looks imminent. This morning started off bright and sunny, and it was not too cool - about 15° C by mid morning. It is currently 20° C.
The new series of Dr Who with a brand new Doctor (Jim Capaldi) that I watched last night was sort of OK. Having just regenerated, the Doctor was typically confused. It's part of the standard plot to introduce the new Doctor, and sometimes it is done well, and sometimes it is very laboured. Both Peter Davidson, and Colin Baker, had very laboured introductions, and it became difficult to tell when the introduction was over, the new Doctor had settled in, and "normal service" can resume. Last night they packed it all into the first 20- 30 minutes, and I found it intensely irritating, and I wanted to turn the TV off, but I stayed the course, and maybe, just maybe, this new Doctor will be OK - if he gets the rights scripts and story lines !
With Dr Who going on to 9pm I decided I had a good reason to break open a bottle of Diet Coke. It was nice having something fizzy, but I didn't notice any effect from the caffeine (or any of the other ingredients). I still fell asleep reasonably easy - although I didn't actually go to bed until 10pm - which is later than usual for me (although perhaps not for a Saturday night). I seemed to sleep well until 4am. I do seem to have an affinity to wake at 4am, and I don't know why.
I got up and pottered around for a bit, but an hour or two later I got back in bed. From then on it was a typical case of feeling like I was hardly asleep, but loads of unaccounted time. It was 10am before I decided I ought to get up, have a wash, and get dressed. I timed that about right to have a pleasant walk in the sun down to Aldi to get some shopping. I was very careful about what I bought this time, and I just sailed past the shelves with the crisps, peanuts, biscuits, and cakes on them. I don't normally buy much from those shelves, but this time I bought nothing from them.
I didn't even buy any diet cola, but I did buy some other fizzy drinks. I am currently drink some sugar free (or at least very low sugar content) raspberry and mint flavour drink - which is sort of nice, but I remain unconvinced that mint goes that well with raspberry. What I did buy lots of was fruit and vegetables. That was both a good idea and a bad idea. It was a good idea because it should help healthy eating, and I getting more convinced that I need to do some very serious healthy eating soon if I am ever going to wear certain trousers again. The bad thing was that I hadn't considered just how heavy heaps of fruit and vegetable can be. It is a shame that Aldi don't sell Conference pears and apples in smaller bags. I nearly busted my something or another lugging that lot home !
I recovered from lugging the shopping home quite some time ago, but I feel quite frail again, at least I think I do, after washing some shirts and underwear. As I wrung out the shirts I could really feel the tension in bits of my body - mostly my arms and chest. It's probably good exercise when done in moderation - which is how I like to do it when I can. Maybe tomorrow, if I can't think of anything better to do, I might tackle washing a sheet or duvet cover - maybe both - I do have one of the very cheap, ultra thin material, sets that I could do, and wringing out material like tissue paper is not too taxing.
I don't think I'll be doing anything more tonight...which is a bit of a shame because I feel a bit bored tonight. There are probably places I could go to, but I don't feel up to going out at the moment. One place I would like to go to, but it isn't open until 20th and 21st September, and even then I don't think I can be bothered to enter a ballot for tickets. It is the Crystal Palace subway - a beautiful leftover from the days of the Crystal Palace High level railways station, and how it connected with The Crystal Palace. There's loads more about it if you click on the link.
I am indebted to Mike in Canada for the news about the subway. Quite why the news had to travel 2000 miles (or whatever) when Crystal Palace is only 4 or 5 miles from here is a mystery, but at least it got here. It's just one of the wonders of the internet - along with cat videos, porn, and intensely irritating advertising !
Yesterday seemed to be pleasant enough in a very non-exciting sort of way. There was sunshine, a few grey periods, and it stayed dry (as far as I aware, or can remember). It was a very slightly warmer feeling day compared to the preceding days, but maybe only be a degree, perhaps two. It was a bit cloudy overnight, and then meant that it wasn't so cold this morning - about 12° C. Since this morning there have been some very grey and threatening clouds drifting over, but it has stayed dry, and there have also been plenty of sunny periods. During the morning it warmed up, and then it cooled a bit, and now it is warming up again. The current temperature is almost 21° C. That's good by recent standards, but still seems poor for an August day. Tomorrow looks like it could be similar to today, and the only difference may be that there is a bit more cloud.
All the extra sleep left me feeling quite good yesterday morning, but it didn't seem to last. I felt quite tired by the time I started heading for home after work. I revived a bit on the way home, and I popped into Tesco to get some bits and pieces on my way from the station to home. I seemed to buy an awful lot in terms of the weight of my bags, and yet the bill was very moderate. The reason for this is that I bought a whole heap of vegetables. The only meat I bought was some reduced price sliced meat from the reduced price counter.
A consequence of having fresh shopping is that my dinner was a bit more sophisticated than usual. For starters I had steamed new potatoes in herb butter, and for the main course I had "red hot" coleslaw with haslet. Now I know that doesn't sound terribly sophisticated, but I either couldn't think of the word I actually wanted to use, or I wanted to make it sound a lot posher than it really was. I had a few nibbles, including some biscuits, here and there, but essentially that is what I had before going to bed.
I thought I would be going to bed extra early again last night, but I didn't seem to feel as tired as I was while at work. I ended up going to bed at my usual(ish) time of 9pm, but it took ages before I fell asleep. I am unsure how my caffeine deprivation fits in with my tiredness or lack of it. I did but a couple of spare 1.75l bottles of Diet Coke while I was in Tesco, but like the one that was already in there, I haven't had a drop of cola since Tuesday (or was it Wednesday) night, and even then it was only a single half pint for the whole day.
I might break that fast tonight, or maybe I won't. There is no end point to this experiment, and it could go on for as long, or for as little as I want. I think I have already proved one point - it seems that fizzy drinks do not affect farting by any noticeable amount. I don't think I've noticed any beneficial effect at all - except that tap water is a lot cheaper than even Aldi own brand cola. Not drinking it certainly doesn't seem to have changed my sleeping. Sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is bad.
Last night it was bad, but for a Saturday it was not terrible. I probably got to sleep earlier than I thought last night, probably well before 10pm, but I woke up at 4am, and slept badly from then on. I did get up for an hour at 4am because I seemed to be wide awake, but I was back in bed at 5am, or thereabouts. For the next few hours it seemed like I hardly slept at all, but the great chunks of missing time say that I actually slept more than I felt I had.
I didn't feel that wonderful this morning. I had quite a stomach ache that wouldn't go away, and I felt as stiff as a board. Fortunately the worst of it all had subsided by the time I walked to the station to meet Aleemah, and I was mostly comfortable as we walked down to the Wetherspoons pub for breakfast. It was after we came out of there that I came to believe with increased conviction that fizzy drinks have little to do with flatulence. It was really quite embarrassing to be in that state when with a guest !The good thing is that after a couple of embarrassing hours the discomfort I was in had dissipated.
After Aleemah had gone home I cooked myself a fairly extensive lunch. It was to have been a very healthy sort of meal, but at the last moment I realised there was a way of making it even tastier. It started life as sliced new potatoes, sliced courgette, cherry tomatoes and shallots all sprinkled with a crumbled low salt beef Oxo cube, and a couple of tablespoons of water. The idea was, to quote from my friend Jodie, to "nuke it in the microwave for 10 minutes" (Jodie's standard way of cooking all vegetables - and she eats little else). It may have not been a very balanced meal, but it should have been low in most of things I shouldn't be eating.
The I remembered I had some extra strong garlic liversausage in the fridge, and I thought that would go with it extremely well - and it did. I diced it up and threw it is with the vegetables before "nuking it" for the proscribed 10 minutes. Maybe the potatoes could have done with an extra minute in the microwave, but they were OK as they were, and the whole thing was rather delicious. It is possible that my evening meal may be a more balanced version of lunch with more green stuff, and less potato.
I washed two towels earlier on, and they will probably be the last bits of hard work I'll do all day. They weren't the first. I forgot to mention that hell has finally frozen over ! I hoovered my bedroom today !!!! I think that and a bit of laundry is quite enough for one day......and yet I am unsure how I will be passing the rest of the time today.... On reflection, there are two things I can think of that I will do. Firstly I think I fancy a snooze, and secondly I fancy watching the new Dr Who starting at 7.50pm today. After that I can truly relax - if I can !
22nd August 2014
There was a decent amount of sunshine yesterday, but it didn't warm up enough to make going home with my coat on unpleasantly warm. I forget to check, but I suspect the temperature was only around the forecast 17° C when I got home from work. It was starting to get cloudy by then, and a little after 6pm we had a shower. I don't think it lasted for more than 10 - 15 minutes, and was probably the only rain we had yesterday. This morning it was a little bit less cool. I saw 12.6° C on my thermometer just before I left to come to work. As I walked to the station there was a lot of broken cloud in the sky, and it looked a bit grey compared to the golden sunshine that was lighting up the tops of the houses, and other high structures. Now there is nothing but horizon to horizon thick grey cloud, and it looks as if it could rain. This in direct contradiction to the forecast that said today would be very much like yesterday. Now I have no idea how the rest of today will be.
I felt dreadfully tired, at least I think it was tiredness, it could have been weak and watered down death, when I left work to go home yesterday. I had felt like extra sleep yesterday morning. So I guess it should have come as no surprise that I would feel tired in the evening as well. I'm now not so sure that it was just lack of sleep like tiredness. It could have had a deeper underlying reason such as the body fighting infection, or something like that.
Whatever the actual reason was is immaterial to what the outcome was of feeling like that. After dinner, which was, in effect, a large portion of enhanced soup, I watched the 6pm news on BBC1, and then went up to my bedroom to watch the 6.30pm London news from BBC1 on my computer. That got a bit boring, and by 7pm I had brushed my teeth and I was in bed. Sometime later I was surprised to realise that I must have fallen asleep very quickly. If I ignore the times I woke up to have a pee, I could say that I slept for very close to 10 hours ! The ease that I did that strongly suggests that I really needed that sleep.
While I could still complain about an assortment of aches and pains, mostly in the bits I use for walking, and my back is a bit stiff as well this morning, I could also say that I feel far better for all that sleep. I might even try for extra sleep tonight...although tomorrow I can have a bit of a lie in. It is a shame that I missed having some beer with a few mates last night, and I missed Dread Centre playing in The Catford Ram. So I am left wondering if I would have liked or hated, or anywhere in between, Dread Centre's take on reggae music.
I am also left wondering if how I've felt in the last couple of days has anything to do with not having any caffeine. I didn't drink any cola at work yesterday, and I didn't have any in the evening. At home I just drunk tap water, and while it was fresh it was nice, but I had forgotten just how nasty a glass of water can taste when it's been left by my bed all night. It is all flat and dusty tasting (even though there is no apparent dust on it even when it's held up to the light). Maybe I should take a bottle of water to bed with me if I am to keep this up. I must admit that I am drinking a small can of Irn Bru this morning. It is a fizzy drink, but it has no caffeine in it. When I have worked out the point of this experiment, if indeed it has one, I'll reveal what it turns out to be.
21st August 2014
Apart from the fact that it was only tepid, yesterday was not a bad day. There was plenty of sunshine, and it stayed dry. I'm not sure what the top temperature was, but it was probably a degree higher than the forecasted 17° C. This morning started off just two tenths of a degree less cold than yesterday - which translates to 9° C - and once again the sky was clear and blue. Unlike yesterday, the sky is still very clear and blue, and it is tempting to think we could be heading towards a nice warm day, but the forecast says otherwise. The temperature is still only forecast to reach an almost cool 17° C. There was a shower forecast around 4pm yesterday, and that didn't happen. Today a shower is forecast for around 9pm, and with luck that won't happen as well.
Yesterday morning I put on a coat to come to work, but it was just about warm enough to leave my coat off (and stuffed into my bag) to go home. To be more accurate it was not home I was initially heading for, but The Catford Constitutional Club for a couple of beers with Jodie - and then I went home. As I pass through Waterloo station I noticed a bit of activity on the station concourse. There hasn't been any big stands there for some time, but last night there was a little one giving away samples of yet another lemon based Australian alco-pop.
There was far better beer in The Catford Constitutional Club last night, but I can't remember too much about it - and not for what you think is the obvious reason ! There were a small group of obnoxious idiots who were clustered around the hand pumps making it impossible to read the small details on the pump handle labels ! Death should only have been part of their punishment in an ideal world !
I had three pints of nice beer before I went home. I was still sober enough to cook a nice healthy dinner I had planned - steamed new potatoes, carrots and peas. The trouble was I was just drunk enough to ruin by smothering it with melted cheese ! Oh well, at least it was very tasty, and it was by far the biggest component of all I ate last night. As I ate I watched an episode of Top Gear on BBC3, and when that finished at 9pm I went straight to bed.
I fell asleep really easily, but I don't think I slept that well. I seemed to wake up fairly frequently, and each time I woke up I couldn't get back to sleep without having a wee first, but I don't think there was a single occasion when I needed to wee badly enough to wake me up. I think it was just a case of while I'm awake I may as well go. I can't remember any coherent dream from last night, but I do know I had at least one dream where I was back in Rushey Green telephone exchange where I once used to work. It was a familiar environment, but the equipment inside had mostly been upgraded past recognition, and I felt confused. Maybe that was one reason why I woke up - because it had become too confusing to carry on dreaming.
I woke up this morning definitely feeling like I could have spent at least an extra hour in bed. I'm unsure how caffeine deprivation may have affected me this morning, and maybe through the night. I think it is some sort of experiment I am doing. I didn't have any cola at work yesterday, and I only had about half a pint when I got home afterwards. For the rest of the evening, through the night, and right up until now (and probably beyond) I've just been drinking water. This mimics how I was in hospital - except I am not suffering nicotine withdrawal as well - and I seemed to survive OK in hospital. Maybe I'll survive now as well.
You might ask why I am starving myself of caffeine, and I can't really answer it. I just seems like an interesting thing to do, and there is a possibility it might be beneficial to me in several curious ways. It is definitely cheaper to drink tap water, and that could be useful next year if I dare to try and live on my BT pension. Not having to go into food shops/supermarkets etc to buy it could reduce temptation to buy stuff, like ice creams, that I really ought to avoid eating when I can. Finally, not buying their product, is the best punishment I can think of for Coca Cola discontinuing their two litre bottles !
Apart from feeling like I wanted to go back to bed, I felt pretty bad this morning. Things like the pain in my right knee are very distinctive and easy to describe, but much of what I suffered from this morning was lots of minor things that individually would not be worth mentioning. There were pains here and there, and sometimes I felt like I was going to explode. It was like the first hint of an oncoming sneeze. Now I've been at work for around 3 hours (I didn't realise it had got so late !) I don't feel anything like so bad. My main complaint now is that the shoes I am wearing seem to be very uncomfortable today, but I would still like to go back to bed !
Another indistinct photo taken on my mobile phone this morning - Guide Dogs For The Blind setting up a stand on the concourse of Waterloo station. It doesn't seem all that long ago that they were there before. Maybe, being a charity, they can set up there any time there is no paying commercial customer there.
Tonight I shall be having more beer ! The band Dread Centre are playing in The Catford Ram tonight. Their music, which I'll admit I have never heard before, is unlikely to be my sort of thing, but I've met most of the guys in the band, and it will be interesting to take a quick peek at what they are up to. I'm at work tomorrow so I can't stay out too late, or drink too much, but I can get a few snaps of the band in action. Maybe I'll take a camcorder as well in case they have a good bright light show.
20th August 2014
There were a couple of light showers in the middle of yesterday afternoon, but they didn't amount to much, and they could almost, but not quite, be ignored. Even without those showers it would not have been a very nice day. It was mostly dull, and with the temperature only reaching 17 or 18° C, it was also a rather cool day. This morning has started out gloriously clear with horizon to horizon blue sky, but the price to pay for that was a very chilly start to the day. Some more rural areas might have seen the temperature as low as 3 or 4° C, but in Catford it was almost 9° C. After a sunny morning it should eventually warm up to at least 17° C, and possibly as high as 19° C - if that can be called high by any stretch of the imagination. It will get cloudy this afternoon, and there is a chance that there will be a shower just as I am going home after work !
I have a bit of an update to the list I made yesterday of significant dates from September last year. Ruby contacted me to say she reckons it was September 19th when she visited me at home after I had come out of hospital. As I walked from the station to work this morning, it occurred to me that there is one other anniversary coming up in September. This one is a bit of a weird one, and could be completely wrong, but I think that the 21st September was the last time I travelled in a car (if you allow a big mpv to be called a car). It was when Jo and Chris insisted on taking me home after I went to see Chain playing in The Catford Ram. Maybe they were worried that after drinking several pints of Guinness, all the metal staples that were holding my chest together would suddenly give way, and my chest would burst open if I didn't take it easy. It was a very kind thing to do, and I am eternally grateful, but I'm sure it wasn't necessary.
I am quite happy with my "new" PC. With it's new motherboard, and fresh installation of Linux Mint 17, it is working very smoothly again. It would have been nice to have all the lights on the front (two power lights and hard disk activity light) working, but I know I will never get around to sorting out the cabling for that to happen until such time as I might rebuild the whole machine some time in the uncertain future. At least it kept me busy yesterday, and that was useful because when I look back it seems like I didn't eat as much as if I had been bored.
In theory, seeing as how I was off sick with a stomach upset, I should have been eating very little, or even nothing at all for most or all the day, but that has never happened in the past, and I doubt it will ever happen in the future. Having said that, it does seem like my trouser belt is unusually loose (in relative terms) this morning. I thought I might capitalise on that by being a tiny bit careful of what I ate for breakfast this morning. I seem to have had a lot of pulses - three bean salad, and lentil salad. I dread to think what they might do to my guts, but all that fibre is allegedly very good for you (said the man from the lentil marketing board !).
I could feel an awful lot better, but I feel fairly good this morning. My back was all stiff and aching when I got out of bed this morning, but that was cured either by, or just by the time I had taken a warm shower. The rest of me seemed to be working reasonably well, and I was able to walk fast enough to start to breath very deeply on my way to work. Maybe if my right knee had been less sore I could have moved fast enough to actually get out of breath. That knee is probably going to cause me a lot of agony in years to come, but for now it is a mere inconvenience. There was one occasion that I felt very sick, and very close to vomitting this morning, but there was a special reason for that....
19th August 2014
I was very lucky to almost escape the rain yesterday. It stayed dry, but mostly overcast, until mid afternoon. An hour or so later, just as I was going home, the rain stopped just long enough for me to get within a hundred yards of Earlsfield station. It was fairly light rain, and I hardly got damp in the short time I was not under cover (and with my rain coat still in my bag). There was some harder rain while I was at Waterloo, but it had almost stopped in the minute while I waited for my train to Catford Bridge at my favourite waiting place on a part of the platform that has no canopy. It was sunny as my train arrived in Catford, although it didn't last long. I arrived home, still with no coat on, perfectly dry.
I am not aware that it there was any more rain last night, and there did not seem to be any this morning. The main thing about this morning was the almost wintry start to the day. It was very overcast and gloomy, and the temperature was just 11° C. The sun has managed to peep out from behind the clouds a few times this morning, but only for very brief periods. That has not done a lot for the temperature. It is currently just 18° C ! There have been a few times when it has looked like it has been about to rain, but so far it has stayed dry, but if today is like yesterday, and it usually is, it will probably rain around 4pm.
We do seem to be having a bit of a poor August...at least that is how it seems, but looking at my diary for this time last year suggests that this is not that different. Maybe we will see a brief revival of summer in September like we had in 2013. September is approaching rapidly now, and that brings with it some anniversaries -
I am off work again with "the runs". As is usual when this happens, it is a temporary thing, and if I had a magical way of getting to work in a few minutes, without all that mucking around on trains, I would have been fine, but I just will not set off on a long journey without feeling comfortable - comfortable that I am not about to soil my trousers. It's not happened in the last 58 years, and I don't want it to happen now.
I have made good use of my time while I've been at home - assuming changing the motherboard in my PC can be classed as an important thing to do. Actually it was probably not a terribly important thing to do, but it was a useful thing to do. The old motherboard was beginning to get a bit cranky, and was starting to either worry or annoy me (sometimes it was one, and sometimes the other). I've also taken the trouble to upgrade from Linux Mint 16 to Linux Mint 17. The latter is a "long term support" version, and should be good for the next 5 years (or something like that). The only problem I had was that the connector for the power lights and power switch was wired slightly differently, and the lead was not quite long enough. I had to resort to a little bodge to get the power switch connected, and I'll just do without lights.
18th August 2014
Yesterday evening stayed bright, but not exactly sunny until sunset. At sun rise this morning it initially looked as if the sky was mostly clear, and until then it probably was. That allowed the temperature to drop to a rather chilly, autumnal and a bit worse, 11° C when I got up at 5am. As I drew the curtains back the buildings opposite me were lit up with a bright golden glow, but it didn't last for long. The sky soon clouded over, and as I travelled to work the grey pillowy clouds covering almost all the sky looked very wintry. It will warm up a bit today, but the forecast says it will only reach a very poor 19° C, and even worse, it will rain this afternoon. The outlook is very poor too. Tomorrow may be similar to today, but the highest temperature will be like late autumn at a shivery 17° C !
I was not very successful at substituting a bit of fruit for dinner last night. I had more than that, but I did have two deliciously juicy nectarines, and three or four perfectly ripe, but still slightly tart plums. One trouble is that it needed a large chunk of cheese to counter the tartness of the fruit. The two went together remarkably well, and I think I'll be having the rest of the fruit with cheese tonight. I did have a bit more than the fruit and cheese last night, but I just about managed to avoid having as much as the equivalent to a full evening meal.
One curious thing last night, although I guess it is not that uncommon, is how I didn't feel tired at all, and yet I was asleep within a few minutes of getting into bed. I think I slept rather well. Maybe I can attribute that to how cool my bedroom now is compared to a fortnight ago or whenever it was that it was very warm outside, and sweaty hot indoors. Last night I was able to get everything but my head and a foot under the duvet without feeling like I was cooking myself.
I didn't feel that terrible when I had to get out of bed at 5am when my alarm went off. Maybe I didn't feel terrible at all, but I did feel quite creaky, and the vegetable curry I had for breakfast yesterday morning had finally worked it's way through the system with predictable results. That reminds me of a thought that I had this morning. It's one that will keep popping up in my head for some time, and no matter how straight and puritanical you are, or, even worse, how "adult" you are, it will resonate in your head all morning too. It's a question that may not have an absolute answer, and it is "do people fart when fast asleep ?". There is a follow up question, or statement (take your pick), and it has to do with how marvellous it is that if we do fart in our sleep, we don't accidently pass any solids or liquids with it.
Now I am at work, and have eaten rather more than I should have for breakfast, I feel fairly comfortable. Maybe too comfortable in some respects, but not in others. I feel comfortable enough to go back to bed to sleep for a few hours - if only I could ! It is not exactly warm in here, although it is only mildly cool by comparison with some winter mornings when it can be savagely cold in here. That doesn't exactly make me feel comfortable. I guess the place will slowly warm up unless any raw sunshine touches the tin roof when it will warm up very quickly !
17th August 2014
The weather continued to try and emulate summer, but came closer to emulating autumn yesterday afternoon. It was fairly sunny from mid afternoon until sunset, but the sun didn't seem as powerful as an August sun should be, and clouds frequently, but thankfully briefly, got in the way. This morning started off bright and cool, but there have been occasional periods when it has been overcast. At around 2pm it came over very dark, and it may have rained, as the forecast said it should, but I closed my eyes until it was all over (or dozed off). Since then it has been mostly bright, but at just the top temperature just about hitting 20° C, it has hardly been much of a summers day again. Tomorrow doesn't promise much either. A cold (12° C), but bright start, and then rain with the temperature no higher than 20° C, and maybe as cool as 19° C in the early afternoon. Then once darkness falls the temperature is going to do it's best to get into single figures !
I don't know why I got a bee in my bonnet about having an Indian takeaway last night, but I did, and I couldn't fight it. All I could do was to hand wash half a dozen t-shirts, and order the takeaway as a sort of faux reward for all my hard work. The restaurant I used last night used to have a good reputation, and maybe it still deserves it, but......There is always a but to these things ! The place had quite a good score, 4 out of 5 if I recall correctly, from the food standards agency (it's worth bookmarking that link for the food standards agency so you can check out any food establishment you might use - including corner shops and supermarkets !).
They weren't let down by hygiene, and the food was delicious, but the portions were rather small, and that was the "but" that let them down. I ended up eating too many of the excess dishes I had ordered, and it scuppered my plans for a curry breakfast - almost ! I did end up having vegetable curry on naan bread for breakfast. I was hoping for something meatier though. It seems I am destined to almost be vegetarian today for reasons I'll come to soon.
I had a two part night last night and this morning. I went to bed at 11pm, and I was soon asleep. I think I had a few dreams as I approached the first time I woke up at 5am, but all memories of those dreams vanished like dew on a warm spring morning. (I did wake up a few times before then, but only for a wee, and I was back asleep again so quickly that I don't count them). After being awake for a little over an hour I came to the conclusion that I really ought to have slept for longer, and so I went back to bed. It didn't feel like I had slept that much, but a lot of time passed that I can't account for, and it was about 10am when I decided that I probably ought to get up for real.
In theory, with all that sleep, I should have been in a most dynamic mood, but it was a struggle to bother. I was thinking I ought to go to Poundstretcher - that being the closest, and easiest place to buy some cheap and nasty bathroom mats to replace my current ones - one of which is definitely a bit whiffy ! I abandoned that idea, but I did wash a few shirts. I probably could have dried them on the washing line, but I hung them on a clothes horse - the same one that I had hung the t-shirts I washed last night. The t-shirts weren't fully dry, but dry enough to finish drying on the banister rail.
Since then the only thing of note that I have done is to go to the corner shop for some diet cola - unless you count washing my hair. I have indeed washed my hair, and in a sort of pretend spiteful way, I used the Sunsilk shampoo and conditioner that I bought and kept here for my friend Patricia. I have a feeling that I won't be seeing Patricia again, and if I was strong and ruthless I might say that I don't want to see her again. Her last text message to me, sent from the airport on 26th June, was that she would email me as soon as she arrived safely in Argentina (which I know she did from her facebook pages). I am still waiting for that email, and I feel like I have been slighted. So I will use up her shampoo, and if some strange fate causes her to ever stay here in the future she can use bloody Fairy Liquid to wash her hair !
It occurs to me that I have eaten a load of crap today, and I don't think I shouldn't have any dinner tonight, but maybe I might have some fruit. I've got some nice plums, and some nice nectarines in the kitchen....at least I assume they are nice. They've had a few days to ripen, and should be at their peak right now. So time to tuck into the fruit, and then no more food until tomorrow - possibly !
Back in the real world.......One of the "toys" I bought in the 99p shop yesterday was a battery powered mobile phone charger. I thought I mentioned it yesterday, but apparently not. Until yesterday evening I wondered if it could possibly work. I've now found out that it can - just about.
It takes one single AA battery, and those only give out 1.5V instead of the 5V needed on the micro-usb connector to charge a phone. Until I take it to work tomorrow, and dissect it, I can't be sure exactly how it works, but it does have a small circuit board at the bottom, and that seems to be a remarkably compact voltage converter plus a red LED to show it is charging.
I am unsure how much charge you can get out of a single AA cell, but even with an expensive "photo lithium" type battery it is probably not that much. However I guess it could be useful in emergencies. Maybe a fresh battery could provide enough power for a couple of hours of light use, and maybe more, but it is an expensive way of charging a phone !
16th August 2014
Yesterday morning was mostly bright, but the afternoon, although dry, was more often overcast. I'm unsure what the final temperature was, but it did feel cooler in the afternoon than the morning. I think it stayed dry during the night, and this morning was pleasant enough. It was not that cool, and occasionally the sun would peep out from behind some thin clouds. This afternoon has been sunnier than the morning, and it could almost be mistaken for a summer day if the stretch the definition far enough ! It's currently 21° C, and surprisingly sunny considering the amount of clouds in the sky. Tomorrow is forecast to be very cloudy in the morning. Then at midday it will rain on and off until 4pm when it will turn sunny until sunset - at least that is what the forecast says. Reality may be different !
I kept intending to do some laundry yesterday afternoon, but it never happened. At 3pm I felt like a quick lie down before starting the laundry. So I lay on my bed, and the next thing I knew was that it was 6pm. Three hours had seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. I guess that my fours of good sleep the night before, and then unknown amount of terrible sleep was just not enough. That extra 3 hours sleep in the after really worked though, and I didn't feel sleepy in the evening at all.
As good as that was, it did bring it's own problems - even as 11pm approached I was not sure if I felt sleepy last night. I can't remember when I went to bed last night - basically because my only timekeeping was the start and finish of TV programmes, and I wasn't paying too much attention to them. I had a good reason to watch TV last night. My internet connection had completely failed by early afternoon. Vermin Media did acknowledge something was wrong, and blamed it on maintenance taking place on their network (probably installing new taps for GCHQ and the NSA).
Being an internet addict meant that I had to take drastic steps to get back on line to check email and social media. I held my breath and coughed up £2.99 for 500mb of mobile broadband using my 3 dongle. It's a handy little device for emergencies, but without a regular data plan it is a fairly expensive way of accessing the internet. I was more than happy to find my Vermin Media connection was working perfectly again this morning, and it has been solid all day.
This morning I had to get up not too early, and not too late - sort of. In fact I woke up about an hour earlier than I wanted to, but I seemed to feel OK....well sort of OK. In theory I should have done a lot more housework than I actually did, but I managed to get the place sort of tidy in the most obvious places for when Aleemah came here. There was a slight change to the routine today. After breakfast in the Wetherspoons pub we went in the 99p shop where I discovered......
Big D beer flavoured crunchy coated peanuts !!! They didn't actually taste of beer as we know it, but they did have a sort of yeasty taste to them that could be interpreted as something akin to beer. While they may not taste exactly as described, they were still really rather nice, and I have to confess they didn't last that long !
As well as the usual household stuff, such as bleach spray and other useful stuff, I did buy other edible stuff. Of particular note were some vegetable crisps. A big bag from other shops is usually far more than 99p, and so it was good to see such tasty things so cheap.
I seem to have consumed rather a lot of calories/fat/sugar/evil stuff today, and I am now wondering what I ought to have for a proper evening meal. If I beat my concious up with a long steel pole (possibly with a boxing glove on the end of it) enough, so it loses track of reality, I could find myself fancying some sort of takeaway. Maybe something like an Indian.
Once I've uploaded this, and corrected some horrible spelling mistakes in what I wrote yesterday, I am going to take it easy for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow I am going to have to pull my finger out and do some laundry, and maybe other housework too, but that's for tomorrow. Right now it's time to put my feet up !
15th August 2014
My internet connection has been up and down like a whore's drawers today, but hopefully it will be up when you come to read this, and hopefully it will eventually stay up because all these ups and downs are getting rather boring !
It rained yesterday, and sometimes that rain was quite heavy, but somehow I managed to avoid all bu three and a half drops of it (although I may have imagined the half). There was some sunshine during the day, but it was a bit of a rare commodity, and the amount of times it was overcast outdid the sunshine by a factor of at least five. For all that it wasn't particularly cool, and the afternoon could still be called moderately warm. It hasn't rained so far today, but it might do at some time. We have had several sunny spells, but there is a lot of cloud in the sky. Currently it is just about 20° C, and after a bit of physical exercise, like carrying a rucksack and two more bags of shopping back from Aldi, it feels quite warm enough !
As yesterday slowly passed I began to feel very much the same as I had earlier in the day - which wasn't too bad, but far from ideal. Going home after work was a bit of a bore, as usual, but otherwise unremarkable. When I got home I had a very light dinner, and this time it was very light indeed for a change. Maybe it was the ongoing hunger pains (which aren't pains at all, but just chemicals in the brain like crack addicts get) which kept me alert. Maybe the heavy downpour of rain that threatened my desire not to wear a coat, kept me alert too. Whichever it was is not important. The important thing is that I was more looking forward to going out than going to bed.
The rain had stopped by the time I wanted to go out so I went out without a coat, or any other rain protection. It was possibly a stupid chance to take, but I got away with it going to the pub, and coming home again. I was off to see Chain playing in The Catford Ram, and it was one of those nights where it all came to together properly, and sounded rather good.
From left to right, Graham Hercock, Chris Mayer, John Sutcliffe, Jo Corteen, and Dave Griffiths.
Some pictures looked better in black and white.
I didn't have to go to work today, having booked the day off, and so I could stay out late last night. I think it was a little after 11pm when I left the pub. Chain finished playing at about 11pm, and I just had a few goodbyes to say before I headed home. I avoided the temptation of getting any takeaway food on the way home, but then made up a sort of dinner that was almost as bad. Well maybe not quite that bad, but new potatoes, giant beans in sauce all covered with a very generous amount of cheese was not the healthiest meal I could have made.
I'm pretty sure it was not too far from midnight when I got into bed, and I am pretty sure I was asleep within minutes. Why I woke up at 4am, and then didn't sleep properly until I gave up trying to sleep at around 8am is a mystery. All I know is that despite not feeling more than a tiny bit drunk, I had quite a strong hangover this morning. That slowed me down a lot, and it seemed quite intensive work editing the photos I took last night.
Sometime after 11am I decided it was time to do something more important - like go and get some shopping from Aldi. Although it isn't cold out, I decided that it was cool enough for long trousers (I wore shorts to the gig last night). I thought I would be brave and try on some new jeans that I have had laying around her for a couple of months. They are black, and are dyed with that horrible tar and old dog ends smelling dye that I am far from keen on. Maybe it is just me, or maybe airing them for a couple of months has dissipated the smell (although that didn't work on another pair of jeans that were in a different style). They still smell a bit, but it is not bad. Best of all is that they fit perfectly, and will be very comfortable at gigs, which they are mainly intended for, or for days at work.
I bought some terrible things in Aldi, but they were in the minority, and if I am careful they should not contribute too much to my poor health and fitness. Of course the chances of making certain things last for days is laughable, and sooner or later I will be gorging myself on a whole pack of something or another ! Before I do that there are other things I should do first. Next on my list is a bit of laundry, and the further down that list, so far down that it might have dropped off the bottom, is hoovering my bedroom. I'll think about that nearer the time. I do have a lot of time to spare before work on Monday, and the only distraction from doing stuff like that between now and Monday is a couple of hours tomorrow when I shall be seeing Aleemah.
I can't recall any rain falling yesterday as the forecast said should happen. Sometimes it did get very cloudy, but there was also quite a bit of sunshine which drove the temperature up to 22 - 23° C. It must have been quite cloudy during the night because the temperature didn't drop below 15° C (yesterday it was as low as 12° C), but the sky seemed clear when it began to get light. However, that may have been an illusion because it was overcast when I left home to walk to the station, and it has been overcast since then. There could be some sunny intervals today, but it seems there is more chance of a shower at almost any time today. At least it will just about be warm - probably about the same as yesterday - 22 to 23° C.
I was definitely feeling a bit moody during the day yesterday, but I was probably getting bored with being like that by the time I was going home from work. It wasn't an unpleasant journey home, but at the same time there was nothing pleasant about it either. For some completely insane reason I was thinking I might eat a little less than usual last night. I can't think what drove me to such an idea, and it turned out to be utterly and completely wrong. I probably ate more than usual last night. Not all of it was bad stuff, but a very significant portion was.
The odd thing was that I didn't feel over stuffed when I went up stairs to my bedroom, and I didn't feel stuffed when, a couple of hours later, I got into bed. I deliberately went to bed a little later than usual to make going to sleep easier, and as far as I can recall, it worked. If I ignore waking up an hour early, and not being able to get back to sleep again, I slept quite well. I just wish I could remember anything about a dream I had. I remember think that it was either terribly significant, or amusing, or......Whatever it was, I wanted to recount some of it, but it's gone, just completely evaporated leaving just a stain to say there was once something there.
It's a Thursday, and by tradition Thursday's are my worst days of the week (as I tend to mention quite a lot recently). I'm not so sure that this particular Thursday is a bad one. I definitely got up feeling terrible, but that seems to be such a regular occurrence now that it seems so natural that I wonder if my memories of being able to leap out of bed within a single second of waking up, and feeling like I was ready to take on the world within another second, were nothing but dreams. This morning I started to feel closer to human than zombie after my morning shower, and less like a complete cripple by the time I was dressed. By the time I was walking to the station I merely felt like I had spend 6 months in a trench at the battle of The Somme.
By the time I arrived at work I was only feeling like I had been in a minor road accident, and now........I feel that another couple of hours in bed would get me feeling as good as an 80 year old on pep pills. Oh well, not long to go now, in comparison to geological ages, until I can go home and put my feet up for ten minutes. I dare not put them up any longer or I will fall asleep, and I can't do that or I will never get out tonight.
Chain are playing in The Catford Ram tonight (from about 8.30pm [or more likely, 9pm]), and I've booked tomorrow off work so I can stay out late and booze to my hearts content. I may even start the evening with a beer or two in The Catford Constitutional Club. Considering the choice of beers in The Ram is currently useless, and anything they do have is likely to run out, a couple of decent beers from the CCC might be more than welcome ! So tonight I can escape to fantasy land for a few hours before reality returns to bite me on the arse.
13th August 2014
Yesterday's weather turned out to be pretty much as expected. There was a splash of rain very early in the afternoon, and there was some distant thunder around 7pm, but it was a fairly sunny day. It didn't get very warm, perhaps around 22° C, but it was comfortable enough. This morning has started with clear blue skies again, and once again the temperature has gone down to autumn, or even winter levels ! It was just 12° C when I walked to the station, but with luck it will creep up to at least 20° C by late afternoon. The forecast says there could be a shower or two in the middle of the day, but I expecting to be able to go home in my shirtsleeves again. I came to work in (short) shirtsleeves, and I have to confess that it was a bit draughty !
I am unsure how to describe how I felt yesterday. Sometimes I might have described it as pissed off, and at other times as being angry. Neither is quite right, nor quite wrong, and the truth lies somewhere between the two. It all concerns the recent death of the Hollywood actor Robin Williams. Note that he is described as a Hollywood actor, and that is probably why I have never watched any film that he has been in to the best of my knowledge. I can't deny that I had not heard of him before his death, but it is close to the truth. I had heard his name mentioned, but I still had no clue as to who he was.
I will readily admit that it is a very personal issue that I feel that hours of news coverages, and page upon page of newsprint has been wasted from my perspective, but others, who apparently loved him and his acting, will appreciate it all, but none of this actually makes me angry. The reason for my anger is more complex. The first relevant fact is that he ended his own life when he felt that life had become worthless to him. It's not an easy thing to do, and the rage that generates in other people who believe, for some selfish reason, that they own his life is the source of my rage or anger, or depression. I personally applaud Robin Williams for taking the hard way out, not the easy way out as stupid people believe, but the hard way. It's hard to say "I'm not interested in what happens tomorrow", it's hard to say "fuck you" to people who think they own you, and will go to any lengths to prolong your suffering.
Maybe when I get to 63 years old, as Robin Williams was, I'll decided that I've seen and experienced all I want or can stand to see and experience, and if anyone tries to stop me topping myself I will obviously have to kill them, and dance on their grave (as a ghost, possibly). Meanwhile, you can read a bit more about Robin William's death here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/12/robin_williams_obituary/ (even though it doesn't include the latest gory details), but be sure to read the comments as well. There was probably less than 50 when I read them, and only one brave soul stood up for William's right to end his own life. Hopefully more have come forward to applaud a brave and courageous decision that a man has made about his own life.
I am unsure if my, at that time, slowly simmering annoyance had any bearing on what I bought when I popped into Tesco on the way home yesterday, but I did come away with some stuff that I haven't been buying recently. There were two things that I got that were pre-meditated for unknown reasons. The first was new potatoes with herbs and butter that came in a microwave proof bag. I had never tried them before, and I have no idea why I suddenly wanted to search the store for them, but I did, and they were very nice too. The other thing that I seemed to want before I saw them on the shelf was liver and bacon in gravy (as a sort of ready meal). It was nice too, but not that nice.
I seemed to pick up quite a few bargains on the reduced price shelves. They included some ready prepared packs of mixed berries (including grapes). I had that with a few spoonfuls of frozen vanilla flavour yoghurt - nice, but not worth crossing the road for. Some of that reduced price stuff has to be eaten quite soon, and I think I'll probably be having a bit of a mixed feast tonight. I must try and avoid overdoing it though.
After dinner I didn't seem to have much to do, and so I tried to go to bed extra early, and by extra early I mean about 7.45pm. That was probably a mistake because there was no way I could get to sleep that early, and it probably made me stay awake even later than I would otherwise have done. By 9.15pm I sort of gave up trying to sleep until I had consumed a giant measure (by pub measurement standards) of whisky. I think that helped, and it wasn't that much later than 10pm before I was asleep.
I seemed to sleep well, but I had the most perplexing dream. It was perplexing because it was erotic, and yet nothing happened, and even more bizzarely, I didn't actually seem to be in the dream ! I can only describe it as like watching a play, or maybe a TV drama. I'm sure there is a name for this type of drama where the characters sit around a kitchen table for much of the time, but I can't seem to recall that name now. If I recall correctly, and my memory of it is getting very hazy now, it really only featured two characters - one was a young woman, perhaps in her mid twenties, and the other was an older woman, perhaps mid forties. Neither was exceptionally good looking, but both were pretty, and I think they were bisexual. They were both waiting for a man to arrive, and I think the man was the husband of the older woman (or maybe it was me they were waiting for !). I can't recall any dialogue, although I am sure they weren't silent, but what I do remember was this incredible sexual electricity in the air. I have no idea what that means either, but it made for a very exciting dream - even if nothing happened in it !
It's another morning where I feel like moaning for the sake of moaning. I neither feel good, not do I feel bad, but I am sure that coming to work is not supposed to hurt. It's not an easily defined hurt (apart from the bit of gravel I got in my shoe), but consisted of a little ache here, and a little ache there. It also included annoyances such as feeling unable to walk any faster, and then there is that strange sensation I get in my chest that feels like the ribs and sternum bone are floating free of the rest of my skeleton. Certain movements cause painless clicks and pops, and grating sounds from inside me, and it is very, very weird. As I say, it causes no pain, and doesn't impede me from doing anything, and it seems impossible to properly describe in sane terms, or to demonstrate to my doctor. So I live with it in the full knowledge that one day I'll sneeze and my whole chest will fall off, or explode, or nothing at all will happen.
12th August 2014
The weather forecast for yesterday sounded pretty dreadful, and for some it was, but the worst of the weather passed some way to the north of London. Here in south London there was some rain, and even some distant thunder, but much of the afternoon was quite pleasant and dry. It was dry when I went home from work, and as far as I am aware, it stayed dry all evening. The only thing to complain about was that it was not that warm, and that is going to be a feature of today as well. So far this morning we have had a fairly clear blue sky, but the temperature dropped to a slightly chilly 12° C, and that has made it feel like summer is over, and xmas must be just around the corner. Sadly, it is not going to warm up much today. Estimates vary, but just under 20° C seems typical. There will probably be some showers this afternoon, but they may be brief and/or light. I think there is still hope that I might be able to dodge them when I go home from work today.
Some would call it Karma, and that seems like a good enough name for me to use here. Karma can work in strange ways...As home time approached I started suffering from trapped wind yesterday. In an attempt to get myself comfortable I made myself late leaving work, but I still managed to get to the station with a minute to spare before I would have been charged a full peak fare for my journay home. I felt a bit uncomfortable on the train, and so did a nearby man when I just had to fart while on the train. There was nothing for it but to get off the train at Clapham Junction, and make use of the facilities there. I was already running late, and the chances of getting to Waterloo in time for my usual train from Waterloo East station were so unlikely that I decided not to try. So I wandered over to platform 7 where there is a good view of the sidings and train shed.
Having got my pictures, I wandered back to platform 10 to get a train back to Waterloo. I arrived there with ample time to wander over to Waterloo East for the next train back to Catford, and I was just in time to see that my usual train, the 16:23 had been cancelled. So everything work out OK, and all the little delays getting to Waterloo East were all meaningless because there was no train to get. That must be something to do with Karma, but it would probably take an Indian mystic, muttering away in an undecipherable heavy accent, to explain it...probably !
There were two unexpected (to me) things that happened to me when I got home from work yesterday. The first was that I had a surprisingly light dinner. It was actually that light, but by comparision..... The second thing is that I went to sleep earlier than expected. I was feeling slightly tired, but only slightly, and if I could have thought of something I desperately wanted to do it would have been no effort to start doing it, but I couldn't think of anything to amuse me, and I went to bed early. I think it was 8.20pm when I turned out the light.
It was still light outside, and I don't think I expected to go to sleep as fast as I did. Of course I can't be sure of the exact time, but I am sure it wasn't that much different from 8.30pm when I fell into a deep sleep. I woke a few times in the early hours of the morning, but I managed to get back to sleep every time, and even slept right up until my alarm woke me - that was a rare occurence ! I remember a few vague details of a couple of dreams.
The first dream I remember probably lasted little more than a few seconds in real time, but a lot longer in dream time. It was inspired by two things - Petts Woodstock and urine ! In my dream there were two festivals going on, and they were taking place in fields either side of a t-junction off the main road in Catford. The road was Canadian Avenue, and there is a green field on it's right hand corner with Catford Road. The left hand corner has Lawrence House on it in reality, but in my dream it was another green field.
There was a music festival in the left hand field, and a sort of low key fun fair with other "family" stuff in the right hand field. I knew the organisers of both events, and they knew each other, but unfortunately neither managed to organise any toilets. Each assumed the other had organised portaloos to be set up somewhere convenient to both sites. So I was wandering around looking for a toilet until I woke up when, obviously, I needed to go and have a wee !
I cannot remember the setting of the other dream I vaguelly recall, but I do recall what I was doing in it. In simple terms I was rolling a spliff. Maybe it was lack of practice because I haven't done that in real life for tens of years, but it what I was making was the strangest looking spliff ever. I had stuck the papers together in the most strange way, but even more bizzare was that it seems I was using cooking oil in the spliff. I cannot even begin to imagine why everything seemed to be covered in cooking oil. The thing that stands out most of all though was that while I waiting for the oil to dry, and I think I expected it to only take 5 or 10 minutes, I lit up a fag....and it was the most wonderful thing in the world ! I could feel that wonderful smoke drawing down into my lungs, and suddenly the world was a better place again.
This morning I am feeling like it is one of my better days. I have an extremely low level headache that I become aware of now and then, and both knees feels a little stiff and/or sore this morning (although the right one is typically worse), but the rest of my body seems to be working well enough to survive for a few more hours or years. That all makes for feeling good these days. Sad, isn't it ?
I think my only plan for this afternoon/evening is to pick up a bottle or two of diet cola on my way home from work. I may get it from the Turkish supermarket, or I might get it from Tesco. In either place I might pick up some groceries too, but I could also get it from the corner shop, and apart from the odd packet of biscuits, or bags of crisps, I rarely buy any groceries from there. I can foresee that I will be in bed early again tonight, but maybe something will distract me, although with the prospect of a late night coming up on Thursday night, whan Chain play a gig in The Catford Ram, some extra sleep beforehand wouldn't be such a bad idea.
11th August 2014
After the wild, windy, and wet start to yesterday, all but the wind calmed down, and even that was not that exceptionally strong. Contrary to the expectations that the weather forecast instilled in us, from mid-afternon until sunset it was a pleasant dry sunny afternoon. The sparse clouds, and maybe even empty skies allowed a lot of heat to escape during the night, and this morning the temperature was a distinctly autumn like 12° C. As I walked from that station to work the sun was still low in the sky, and the sunshine felt a bit "thin". That, and quite a lot of fallen leaves, albeit mosty green ones, completed the autumnal illusion. At the moment I can't see a single cloud in the sky from my office window. If the forecast is correct it won't stay this way for much longer. It will gradually warm up to around 20° C, and at the same time it will gradually cloud over. The unfortunate finale is that I could well be going home from work in pouring rain today ! The next few days could be equally bad by some estimates.
I did one more thing after I finished describing my days yesterday......Well maybe two things. I had some dinner, and then, after a small wait to let my dinner go down, I washed my hair. From then on it was intensive relaxation as I waited for my hair to dry so I could go to bed. To help the relaxation along I opened the bottle of Scotch I had bought on Saturday. A couple of generous splashes of that and I had little trouble getting to sleep last night. Staying asleep was a separate problem.
I think I slept fairly solidly until, just like the night before, I woke up at 3am (or was it 2am ? It all seems a bit vague now). Unlike the night before, I had to try and get back to sleep straight away because I had to get enough sleep by 5am when I had to get up for work today. I think it was in those last couple of hours that I seemed to be dreaming non stop. I dreamed of all sorts of things. There were subjects that crop up in a lot of my dreams, stuff like railways stations and train journeys, and being at home in a home that is almost, but not quite like where I now live, or previous homes I have lived in.
One aspect of my dreams that was once rare, probably extremely rare, is now almost getting common. It is obviously a sign of some incipient, or actual madness, or some other psychological trauma, or just plain weirdness, that my mum seems to be cropping up in my dreams fairly frequently now. Sometimes I don't actually see her, but it is obvious that she is there (although I have no explanation as to why it is obvious). In a dream I had this morning I found her listening to one of my old radio tapes. It was one that was not meant to be broadcast, just a sort of practice tape, and for unknown reasons I was terribly worried that I might have said something very inappropriate on this tape. The way I remember it, I managed to turn off the tape player just as the room I was in changed slightly, and I was confronted with another problem - how were we to put up three members of a band who were going to stay with us for a few days, and, how was I going to paint out the oblong patch behind the bed which was a different colour to the rest of the room.
That second bit of the dream defies all explanation. I can accept that I miss my mum after all these years, but a band staying at my place - that doesn't seem to have any parallels in any imagined reality. Neither does the mysterious patch of different coloured wall behind the bedstead. I'm not even sure I want to hear the significance of that !
I presume that while I was having all those rather intense and vivid dreams (including the ones I can't remember now, or can't even begin to describe) I must have been thrashing around in bed, but maybe I still managed to get close to my 8 hours of beauty sleep. That should mean that I feel fine this morning. Well maybe it should, but I don't. I feel/felt extra creaky this morning. My arms and chest are echoinmg the strain of doing all the laundry I did over the weekend, and my feet and legs are reflecting the lack of exercise they had over the weekend. To add to this tale of woe, I also had a gripy sort of stomach ache when I walked to the station this morning. It was a nasty, acidy, empty sort of feeling. Fortunately it had gone by the time I got to Waterloo, but other pains stayed with me or got worse.
My legs eventually loosened up a bit, but my right knee remained sore. Another source of pain was probably a direct result of doing some of the heavier aspects of my hand laundry - at least I think that is what I will blame it on. After rushing about between Waterloo East and Waterloo stations I was breathing quite deeply, but not short of breath, and apart from my arthritic, or rheumatic knee (because it must be one or other of those), I was feeling fairly OK until I sat down in my train to Earlsfield. Maybe I sat awkwardly or something, but I found I had a strong pain in the side of my chest. It was like two ribs had crossed over, or something equally unlikely. I am not sure how or why, or where, or what, but it is possible it is connected with the ribs, and the result of something done during my operation almost a year ago now. Today was the first time it has happened in a while, but it used to happen more frequently. I guess I am fortunate in that having experienced a real heart attack (maybe two), and angina pain, I know that this morning's chest pain, and the previous ones, are unlikely to be anything to do with the heart. So no need for anyone to worry about it.
Today I am going to see if I can raise the enthusiasm to be a little more productive at work (it's less boring that way), but I will still be counting the minutes and seconds before it is time to go home. The only reason to go home today is to eat and to sleep, and they are pretty powerful reasons to go home. I can't wait for both !!!
Yesterday's weather seemed pleasant enough. It was comfortably warm, and there was a lot of sunshine. Most importantly, it stayed dry - something that today hasn't been ! The temperature seemed to drop a lot in the night - I'm unsure how low it was, but there was no argument about sleeping under the duvet last night ! The morning started out at around 18° C, and back by a strong breeze, it was cool enough to prompt me to close my bedroom window, and put a t-shirt on. Since then it has warmed up a little bit.....a tiny little bit. My thermometer is saying 19.9° C right now. A lot of today has been very dull, and very overcast, and so far a small part of it has been bright and sunny. It's like that now, but it may not last. During the dull and overcast times we have had some light showers, and some extremely torrential showers backed with a bit of thunder and lightning. This current sunny spell, which is the longest so far today, was preceded by one of the heaviest, and yet also shortest downpours we have had today - so far. If the forecast is correct, and for once it seems to be, we can expect more showers, and some of them may be thundery. It's also quite windy today, but that doesn't seem to be a major feature - yet !
I had a pleasant lazy evening yesterday. I passed the time quite happily reading or watching TV. Unusually for a Saturday there were things to watch on more TV channels than Dave, although most of them were on Dave - repeats of QI and Have I Got News For You. The biggest trouble with watching stuff on Dave is the adverts, and not just any adverts, but the adverts for Just Eat. Those adverts seriously piss me off. I really, really hate them. To my great shame I used to use the Just Eat website, and one day, when they did a customer satisfaction survey, I warned them that if the kept those offensive adverts up I would have to switch my allegiance to Hungry House, and a few weeks ago I did just that. So if you want to order takeaway food online. I can recommend http://hungryhouse.co.uk/. Don't ever use Just Eat !!!!
I didn't rush to bed last night, and I think it was almost 11pm when I turned out the lights. As far as I can remember I fell asleep quite quickly once I had realised I had to sleep under the duvet. At 3am I woke up, and it was one of those occasions when it didn't feel like I would be able to get to sleep again. Maybe these only happen when there is no work, or any other "appointments" in the morning. So I got up for half an hour and checked my email and stuff.
I think it was after I had gone back to bed, and was sleeping that I had a dream that was quite realistic , or if not actually realistic, sort of sensible. I dreamed that I was handing in my resignation at work (or maybe had just done so). It felt like a huge relief, and yet I was very aware that it introduced some strong challenges. The obvious one was surviving on a very reduced income, and only a moderate amount of savings. The less obvious challenge, and one I am quite aware of, is what to do with all that free time I would have. It could easily be an excuse to sit around slowly eating myself to death - and it probably will be, but maybe I will work something out when the time comes.
I had no reason to get up this morning, and I did my best to sleep as much as possible, but eventually that becomes hard work. So by 8.30am I was up and about......well, not really, but I was out of bed, and starting to shiver in the cool air that was blowing in the window. There were two ways of warming up - either put more clothes on, or do something physical. I chose the latter and washed 4 pillow cases and a sheet. That certainly got me sweating ! It was about the only thing of note that I did this morning, and I am wondering if it will be the only thing of note I do all day !
It might be possible that I will do some computer stuff later on. The new motherboard for my main PC has been sitting here almost 2 weeks now, and at some point I ought to try it out, but.........The problem is that my PC may not be running as well as it could, but it is running well enough to do all I need. In fact since I had a fiddle with it a fortnight ago, it has started up properly nearly every time I've used it, but "nearly every time" is not actually every time, and that is what I want to cure with the new motherboard. Maybe today will be the big day.....or maybe it won't be......
9th August 2014
Just because the forecast said it was going to rain yesterday, it didn't actually have to rain, and until late evening it didn't ! For the most part it was actually a quite pleasant day. After the grey start it was mostly sunny, and with the temperature at 24° C (or maybe just a little higher) it felt comfortably warm. It was certainly cooler than recent mornings today, 15° C or less, but there have been plenty of sunny periods, and the temperature is now 24° C. There is a bit of a breeze now and then, but it doesn't seem to cool things down. There are some heavy looking clouds around, which occasionally obscure the sun, but they don't seem to be rain bearing - though some do look quite threatening. It seems it is now tomorrow when the remains of hurricane Bertha hit us...copious rain, and strong winds are forecast.....at least they were the last time I looked !
I felt dreadfully tired at work, and I was impatient to get home so I could put my feet up, and ultimately get to bed at some extra early hour...except it didn't happen like that. Just before I left work I received a text message from Jodie asking if I fancied a swift on in the CCC on the way home. I was in just the sort of state where beer becomes the finest medicine, and so I rather readily agreed to meet her.
There was one little fly in the ointment - there were some problems on the trains from Earlsfield to Waterloo. I was only delayed by about 5 minutes, but that was enough to make me rush from Waterloo mainline to Waterloo East station, and completely forget to use one of the cash machines to extract some drinking vouchers. A desperate scramble through my pockets revealed I had £17 on me, and as it was not supposed to be a long drinking session, that was enough for two pints of ale, and a half of cider - and I still had a £5 note in my wallet. That booze set me up nicely, and I went home feeling far better for it.
Although the booze had taken the edge of my tiredness, I still didn't feel like making my own dinner, and that posed a dilemna. I could have got to bed a lot quicker if I had rustled up some basic dinner for myself, and as it turned out later, it would have been a lot, lot quicker - but ultimately that didn't matter. I decided to order some Chinese food. I ordered the food online, and the confirmation email warned that it would take about an hour to be delivered. That's unusually long for a Chinese, but just about acceptable. What wasn't acceptable was that it actually took closer to 90 minutes.
When my food eventually arrived I didn't seem to be as hungry as I was before, and that meant I had loads of leftovers for breakfast this morning - yummy ! It would have made sense to go to bed soon after eating, but I seemed to get my second wind, and I ended up watching TV until gone 11pm. It was a rather stupid decision really. I started watching the movie Terminator 2 because I didn't think I had seen what is, or should be, the obvious follow up to The Terminator - which I thought I had already seen. Obviously I hadn't seen the beginning of Terminator 2 because I didn't recognise it at first, but after a while it all seemed very familiar. I am now wondering if I have ever seen Terminator 1, and just to make life more interesting I've just discovered there are at least 2 more Terminator movies !
I am unsure what time I finally went to bed, but I am fairly sure that I was fast asleep very soon after my head hit the pillow. As far as I can recall, I slept quite well, and although I woke up a few times in the night, it is entirely feasible that I got 8 hours sleep. I woke up feeling unusually refreshed......although that might have been something to do with not needing to go to work, and not having anthing else that I had to do. There were some things I wanted to do, and I seem to have done most of them today.
My first task was to wash the shirts I had worn to work during the week. Once that was done I had my Chinese takeaway leftovers breakfast. Once I had eaten that I lay on my bed to do some reading......and ended up drifting off to sleep for half an hour or more. The next thing I did was far more masochistic. I washed a thick double duvet cover. Those thick ones need an awful lot of manhandling, but because it was a nice day I could hang it outside and let it drip itself dry. I brought it indoors in the middle of writing this, and it is 99% dry. I'll leave it hung over the bannisters over night, and tomorrow I'll put it away ready for the winter.
My next task was nice and lightweight so I could cool off after washing that duvet cover. I finally got around to reviewing and editing the photographs I took on Thursday night.
On the left is Perry Ridley, and on the right, Andrew Rogers
Perry Ridley, Andrew Rogers, and special guest Simon.
After yet another reading session that turned into a snooze, I did the final chore of the day - I went to Aldi to get some shopping. Maybe it was because I clogged all my arteries and stuff with my Chinese takeaway breakfast, or maybe it was after all the effort manhandling all the laundry I did today, but it felt like hard work walking to Aldi. It's rather curious that it seemed far easier to walk back home again when loaded down with shopping. I didn't buy a huge amount of stuff while I was in Aldi, but it did include a bottle of Scotch. Another curious fact is that I don't feel inclined to open it this evening - at least right now I don't - maybe curiosity will get the better of me later !
Some said it was going to rain last night, but that was a forecast I must have missed, and it didn't happen anyway. Most of yesterday was bright and warm. Sometimes it was sunny, sometimes the sun was hidden by hazy cloud, and on a few rare occasions the sun went behind a big black cloud, but mostly it was a rather nice day. The same can't be said about today. Hurricane Bertha, or its dying remnants are still heading our way, but it now looks as if it will be weaker than first thought. Today started at 18° C, and the latest forecast says the top temperature today could be as low as 20° C, but the forecast keeps changing. Originally it was going to rain this morning, but now the rain is due later - just before midday, and then again just as I am going home from work. It may have been a close run thing though. It has been very overcast since sunrise, and there isn't a single hint of the sun to be seen anywhere. It could go on like this all day, and the only change will be when rain is actually falling.
Although there was nothing I could specifically moan about, I didn't feel all that wonderful yesterday. I think it was just my usual Thursday burn out. It seems I can only work for three days before I burn out at this stage in my life (and by "work" I actually mean being at work rather than actually doing any physical labour !). It was mentally nice to go home, but I didn't have any great love for the tedium of all the walking, waiting for trains, and travelling on trains. Maybe the only interesting and/or exciting thing that happened during the day was a fire drill.
As fire drills go it was not terribly impressive. It took us a long time to get out of the building, and if had been a real fire we would all have died ! No we wouldn't ! We would have realised that something was different by all the smoke and flames, and made a hasty exit. Now whose stupid idea was it to hold a fire drill at the exact same times as the fire alarms are tested every Thursday ? We just believed (and I still do) that someone started the fire alarm for it's weekly test, and then couldn't turn it off again ! Still, it was a nice day to wander to our rendezvous point in the park.
Top picture - waiting for our names to be called by the fire warden in the lower picture.
The rest of the working day was boring by comparison, and it was a joy to get home, or almost a joy. I felt a lot better than I did the previous Thursday, and I made sure I stayed that way by only having a small snack as a temporary substitute for dinner, but I did feel dreadfully tired. It was a struggle to convince myself to go out again once I was home, and I guess it was also a bit of a struggle to stop myself laying down on my bed. If I had done that I am sure I would have fallen asleep.
To stop myself relaxing too much I took a calculated risk and went out a bit earlier than I was originally going to. The risk was that I would end up drinking too much. I ended up having five pints - which was one more than I was aiming for - but it could easily have been more. The first two pints were in The Catford Constitutional Club, and rather unusually they were moderately low strength session beers.
We then moved on to The Catford Ram where The Carlottas were playing. Now to be honest, The Carlottas were not terribly good, but on the other hand they did have a certain amount of amateur charm. Quite a few wrong notes were played during the first set (which is all I saw) and I guess it showed a certain amount of latent professionalism that they were able to play through them without making a fuss about it. It was one of those events where you wonder why you bothered being there, and then when it ends you realise you have enjoyed yourself.
I could have enjoyed myself more, but I had to come to work today, and that meant leaving the pub early, and racing to get to bed, and fast asleep, as soon after 10pm as possible. It was about 9.45pm when I left the pub, and I was home little more than 5 minutes later, but it was closer to 10:45pm before I got to sleep. That was a little late really, and even if I had slept perfectly it would still have left me with a sleep deficit for today. I slept quite well, but not perfectly, and just to make matters worse I woke up too early again.
This morning I do not feel very wonderful, and that is a big understatement. It would be true to say that both eyebrows and my left earlobe are in perfect pain free condition, but I can't say the same about the rest of my body. If feel very stiff and creaky today, and I definitely do not feel like rushing around in any shape or form. To add to my woe I had that old trouble this morning - trapped wind. Going up and down the stairs 24 times (or maybe less !) first thing in the morning, to get to the toilet, is probably wonderful exercise, but it makes you late for your train. Being late for the train is only of great consequence when it comes to the price of the fare. Tapping in my Oystercard before 6.30am, as I do almost every work day, means I travel at off-peak prices. This morning I had to pay the full peak-time fare. It's not much, but it's the principle that counts, and the principle is that it makes my eyeballs bleed to waste money like that ! At least there was something new to see at Waterloo this morning.
Once I get through work today I have two choices. I could go out in the evening to see Tokyo Toys playing in The HG Well Centre in Bromley, or I could stay in and just slowly vegetate. I am feeling that the latter seems far more attractive from this end of the day. Maybe I'll get a second wind or something, and find the energy to go out, or maybe I won't. I don't think I can be bothered to waste any more energy worrying about it now. First I have to try and get through the day here !
7th August 2014
The weather must have been fairly bland yesterday because nothing really stands out in my memory of it - apart from the early morning rain. After that there were some overcast periods, and there were some sunny periods. It didn't rain again, and it was warm - maybe 25 or even 26° C. Today has started off well. It is bright and sunny, and nice and fresh feeling. Today is the calm before the storm. It's going to be mostly sunny, and fairly warm, but once the day is over we have to prepare for the remnants of hurricane Bertha. Tomorrow is going to be cold, wet, and windy !
While I was writing about how I was feeling quite good yesterday, I was eating a far too elaborate breakfast, and that breakfast ultimately left me feeling quite sluggish for much of the day. It was a silly choice of stuff, and I only selected it because I couldn't decide on one specific thing to have. By 3.30pm I had just about revived enough to feel ready for the journey home. Once I actually stepped out into the fresh air I found my pace getting faster and faster. I am sure there have been times in the past when I have walked to the station at a much faster pace, but yesterday was as fast as my new post-operation speed, achieved a few days back, and there is a just about finite chance that it could have been faster. It really is seeming like I am finally getting some of my energy back. Now if only I could find the right frame of mind to lose a couple of stone, and if I could build up my endurance, I could be well on my way towards doings some long walks, and perhaps an even better heart attack !
Last night I didn't have that nonsense of having to rush to the toilet any time one was within range on the way home, but I have a dreadful confession to make. I did pass wind, hopefully inaudibly, on the train to Catford, and worse still, I did the same, not once, but twice, while I was in Tesco getting some shopping on my way home. Apart from two items, I was quite selective about what I bought in Tesco. It was either low fat, low sugar, and high fibre stuff, or it was reduced price stuff - much of which was not exactly low fat, low sugar, and high fibre - stuff like cheese, for example !
The core of my dinner started out all nice and healthy, and then I polluted it. It was while I was waiting for my train at Waterloo East that a little thought came wafting by on the breeze, and lodged in my brain. From then on I fancied some gala pie (at least I think pork pie with an egg in it is gala pie). As an alternative I would have settled for Scotch eggs. So I bought both from Tesco, and both are not very good for you - high fat, loads of nitrites, etc etc....So I added the gala pie to my ready mix salad bowl, and then made things even worse by far too much salad cream and mustard pickle - and the latter totally overwhelmed any flavour that the gala pie might have had ! Overall it was a bit of a disaster.
I didn't attempt to go to sleep until later than I intended, but I think I fell asleep far faster than I thought I would. I could say I slept well, but I didn't for one simple reason. At 4.30am, half an hour before I wanted to wake up, I woke up, and had to go to the toilet. That ruined any chance of getting back to sleep - which was sort of annoying, although like some of the better clouds, it did have a sort of silver lining.
That extra half an hour allowed me to wash and condition my hair without having to rush this morning. I guess it also gave me an extra half hour to get all my joints oiled and free(ish) running. The net result is that I should have been able to say I felt quite good as I came to work - but I didn't, and the reason I didn't was because of my choice of shoes. I'm sure that the last time I wore these shoes (grey fake Converse trainers) they were perfectly comfortable, but this morning it feels like they have pebbles inside them. Of course they didn't feel like that until I was too far from home, and too near the station to turn back to change them.
I am unsure why they should feel like they do. I checked them for any wear or foreign bodies when I put them on. My feet were not very swollen this morning, and as far as I can tell they swollen since then. So it was easy putting those shoes on, and they still feel almost loose (but not actually loose) even now. The only trouble is that it feels like they have lumps in them. Different bits of my feet feel sore now, and I think they will be feeling really uncomfortably sore when I finally get home after work
Today is Thursday, and it comes with two significant facts. The first fact is that Thursdays are my worst days of the week, The Boom Town Rats may not have liked Mondays, but I don't like Thursdays. It is when I am at my lowest, and is my most popular day to pull a sickie from work. This Thursday I feel OK. Maybe that's not exactly great by the standards of better days, but for Thursday's that's pretty good. I might even stretch a point and say that this particular minute, of this particular Thursday is actually rather good. If all the other minutes could be this good it would be a rather unusual day.
The second fact about this Thursday is that there should definitely be some extra good minutes coming up this evening. It's boozing and music night - hopefully in moderation again. Like last Thursday I'll be meeting the gang in The Catford Constitutional Club for two pints, and then I'll go around the corner to The Catford Ram to watch a bit of The Carlottas gig there. I'm not sure if I like what they do that much, but I want to take a few snaps, have another pint or two, and then get home, and into bed as soon after 10pm as I can.
Of course all this could just be a dream if my hot and spicy breakfast makes a mess of my guts this evening. Breakfast included.......
6th August 2014
A fair bit of yesterday was cloudy, but there were still sunny periods, and the rain that was threatened for midday didn't happen. It did rain eventually, but not until I was in bed with the curtains drawn (sometime after 8pm, but before 10pm). Even without that much sunshine, it was still comfortably warm at about 24° C. Today is going to be a bit different, but maybe not quite as bad as forecast. There was plenty of rain during the night, but it had stopped until 18 seconds before I opened the door to walk to the station. I thought I would get away without wearing a raincoat, but it rained a little too hard for that. The rain was just stopping as my train approached the station. Since then it hasn't rained, and I've seen a few tiny little blue patches among the clouds. It might rain again. The forecast says it should rain until almost midday, but the afternoon could see sunny periods, and a top temperature of around 22 - 24° C. That should be no effort it was 18° C when I woke up this morning.
I started yesterday feeling unusually good, or perhaps I should say a lot less crappy then I have almost become accustomed to. Apart from a very specific area, I stayed feeling good all the time I was at work, and, thankfully, on my way home. The one specific area where it all went wrong was my bottom. With no consideration for all that's holy (or some old spiel like that) it decided that I needed to go to the toilet about half an hour before I leave work. If that was the end of the story it would have been of no consequence, but it decided it wanted to go again just as I was about to leave.
It was good that the rest of me was feeling quite good because I was able to walk to the station a bit faster than usual - perhaps shaving 30 seonds or more off the usual time. This was extra handy because I was getting uncomfortable again. It is a measure of how uncomfortable I was feeling that I got off the train at Clapham Junction to use the toilets there. That is not something I do lightly. Depending on how recent their last maintenance visit was, and how recent the cleaner has been there, they range from not terribly good to really, really horrible. Last night they had locks on the door, and plentiful toilet paper - to have both is quite remarkable !
Once I was comfortable again, I was back on a train to Waterloo. On the whole that was fairly comfortable, but once we arrived at Waterloo I decided that another visit to the toilet might be wise.....and it was ! Considering the amount of people using them, the cleaners at Waterloo do a good job, and although it is not always perfect, I think I would award the gents at Waterloo something like 9 out of 10. By comparison, Clapham Junction rarely achieves better than 5 out of 10, and 1 out of 10 is not that rare. Having said that, it is very rare that I use the toilets at Clapham Junction, and maybe I just go there on the worst days. Meanwhile, back at Waterloo, I was at the right end of the station to see what was happening at the disused international platforms.
So I went straight home. When I got home I checked the fridge and freezer, and of course I had plenty to eat, but not really what I wanted to eat. Maybe that is not strictly correct because I think I wanted a salad, and what I did have was a sort of salad, but only a "sort of" salad. I think the technical term for it was crudités, and I had them with some smoked sausage. That smoked sausage probably eliminated any health benefits from that raw vegetable stuff, but at least it added enough flavour to make the meal worthwhile eating !
I think we were warned that it would be a warm and humid night, and indeed the early part of the night was like that. I think the rain eventually freshened things up, but I had to go to sleep uncovered, and still feeling rather warm and sticky. I think I was asleep very soon after 9pm, and there is a chance that it was a little before that. I slept well enough, once I got to sleep, but I did seem to wake up several times in the small hours of the morning. The first time I awoke was probably because I was feeling a bit cool, but it was actually still too hot to get completely under the duvet.
I think that in the end I slept fairly well, and this morning I guess I feel OK. That's a sort of non-committal OK. I don't feel as good as I did yesterday morning, and I don't feel as bad as I did on some previous mornings. Of course having to put on a raincoat to come to work didn't amuse me, but on the other hand, being able to take it off once I was on the train, and then leave it off for the rest of my journey to work was pretty good.
I hope I have a nice comfortable journey home because tonight I think I really do have to get a bit of shopping in on the way home from work. In theory I will then have a nice healthy, and fairly small dinner so I'll be fighting fit tomorrow. Then I'll be in bed extra early, and get 9 hours of solid sleep so I am fighting fit to stay out a bit late tomorrow night watching a bit of another gig taking place at The Catford Ram (it will be The Carlottas doing a semi acoustic set)..........back in the real world, I doubt either will happen. If I go in Tesco I'll find all sorts of crap that I will probably eat, and I'll be lucky to get 7 hours sleep, but we can always dream (even if it is only 7 hours dreaming instead of 9 !).
5th August 2014
Yesterday was another pleasant day. There was a lot of sunshine - some of it a bit hazy, and occasionally it was obscured by a cloud - but it stayed dry, and it was pleasantly warm. The rain that was forecast for about 7pm never happened, and as far as I can see it stayed dry all night. This morning has started out feeling quite fresh at just 14° C, but most of the sky was blue. Now, three hours after sunrise, there is a lot of very high cloud that is making the sunshine a bit hazy again. According to the forecast there will be cloud appearing at lower levels soon, and there could be a splash of rain around midday. The rest of the afternoon should be dry, but it will stay overcast with a top temperature as low as 22° C. Maybe it won't rain today, like it didn't yesterday, but it seems unlikely we will escape the forecast for tomorrow - rain all morning, and maybe into the afternoon too. I had better ring a coat to work tomorrow !
To describe myself as feeling good yesterday is probably a bit extreme, and it is safer to say I didn't feel bad...well most of the time I didn't. It probably helped that I was quite busy during the morning. That always make the day go faster. It was one of those jobs that feels like a great achievement when you finish it, but can be bloody irritating as you do it. I won't try and describe it because it has few parallels in the real world to compare it with. Just after 11.30am I decided to take a break, and stretch my legs. So I sneaked out to see what the ducks were doing on the river - which wasn't much at all !
Even as I walked to the station after work I debated with myself as to how I felt. Walking to the station was as boring as it has ever been, and probably as it ever will be, but it didn't seem too hard, and I was wondering if I would get a sudden uncrushable urge to walk the extra mile and a half to Wandsworth Common station. I think I could have done that extra walk with suffering too much agony, but I couldn't resist the quick and easy way home - which is neither quick, nor easy, but at least isn't extra hard and doesn't take extra time !
I didn't feel like racing ahead on my way home, but neither did I fancy dawdling too much. One thing is for sure though - I definitely felt different in some sort of positive way, and the most obvious way that this was true was the strange fact that I didn't feel ravenously hungry when I got home. If the idea hadn't felt so mad, and if I wasn't so convinced that the feeling would not last all that long, I could have skipped having dinner. All those doubts added up to the crime of the century, and I started nibbling on a 99p shop bag of chilli flavoured peanuts like some crack addict, but, and to me this is very weird, I still didn't feel like I wanted to gorge myself on dinner even after those chilli lavoured peanuts had got my taste buds tingling, and my saliva glands in overdrive.
Eventually, at least an hour later than usual, I had a ham salad for dinner. The ham may not have been perfectly lean, but it was very close to it, and if I hadn't drowned the whole affair in mustard flavoured mayonnaise, it might have been quite a healthy meal. After that I watched a new (to me) episode of Top Gear on BBC3. That finished at 8pm, and I went up to my bedroom. I spent little more than 5 minutes checking my email and stuff before I grabbed my book, and went to bed. By 9pm I had turned out the light, and I think I probably fell asleep soon after.
I'm sure I had some exciting dreams last night, and that almost suggests I didn't sleep as well as I thought I might have. I can only remember one dream, and it was a very weird one. It was a dream that could have incorporated lots of terror, and yet at no time did I feel threatened. I was very aware of possible dangers (or health and safety issues as we now call them), but provided I was sensible, and I was, I was in no danger. For reasons that may never be known either in or outside the dream world, I was visiting a smelting plant/blast furnace. The fiery action, and the molten metal, seemed to be inside a chimney that was rather like a cave entrance. It was definitely hot in there, and quite spectacular, but the dream seemed to have no beginning, and no end. I just remember the middle of it, and at this time of the day even that is getting very hazy.
This seems to be another morning when I don't feel terribly bad. It is so tempting to say I feel good because it is so different to far, far worse mornings (and days), but the reality is that I could still feel far, far better......at least I think I could. I am sure there used to be days when I felt really alive and ache free. Days when a walk to the bus stop or railway station was a thing of joy, and when the prospect of going to work was something to look forward to, but that was a different job in a different place alas.
One thing that is pleasing about this morning is the trainers I am wearing. Last night I had the sad duty to throw a pair of trainers away. They were denim blue fake Converse trainers bought from Tesco or Peacocks. In one way they were better than the real thing because they were a more comfortable wider fitting. In another way they were far worse. he sole was made of some sort of soft white plastic, and although I managed to get many miles out of them, I quickly wore a hole right through the sole ! So last night I binned them, and this morning I tried a random pair of trainers from my collection of rather a lot. I haven't worn these for ages, and my memory of them was that they were not comfortable. That may have been true while wearing socks, but today my feet are going "commando", and without socks they seem to be very comfortable. All I hope now is that the insoles don't come loose and start rucking up as sometimes happens with cheap trainers (at least it does to me).
4th August 2014
The temperature peaked at around 24° C according to my measurements yesterday. That was a degree less than expected, although I can't remember if it was me that expected it, or the weather forecast. From time to time it did cloud over, but it stayed dry, and there was a nice gentle breeze that felt nice. Overall it was a nice day. Hopefully today will be similar. I wasn't sure if it was cloudy this morning, or if the sun is now rising so late that I am almost getting up in darkness again, but once the sun had risen far enough it revealed a fair amount of white whispy cloud, and in varying degrees that persists even now. The forecast says that much of today will be sunny, and the temperature will rise to about the same as yesterday. The only fly in the ointment is that there could be some rain this evening, and that could be a prelude to more showers tomorrow.
I can't help but think that yesterday was a successful day (even if it is a delusion). The tally at the end of the day was that I did two lots of laundry, and I did some garden maintenance. As I tried to explain yesterday, it wasn't actually "gardening" I did. Perhaps "landscaping" comes closer to a description despite still being totally wrong. I just don't know what to call pulling up some weeds, cutting some shoots of the stump of a very small immature tree, and shovelling the tops off a few mounds of soil to make a pocket handkerchief sized piece of ground look less like the Somme during WW1, and more like a piece of blitzed waste ground in a post apocalyptic world. Whatever it was that I actually did, it was hard enough work to get me soaked in sweat, and breathing quite deeply (but not actually panting).
When I started describing that bit of unbridled masochism yesterday I mentioned that I might do some more laundry, and indeed I did. It must have been more masochism of an even more extreme nature that had me hand washing a medium large towel, a smaller hand towel, a tea towel, and a pair of lounge pants. That lot was quite a wrestling match ! While I had hung the shirts I had done in the morning on a clothes horse indoors, I hung the second lot on the washing line - partly as an excuse to see my handiwork in the garden again, and mostly because it was the only sensible place to hang towels that were still dripping because they are so hard to wring out by hand (at least the big one was).
The sunshine, the temperature, and the pleasant breeze managed to get that laundry almost dry before I went to bed (although I did notice the odd damp corner as I brought it all in for the night). I was going to watch a bit of TV before I went to bed, but I could not believe the amount of rubbish that was on. I tried to watch two programmes, alternating between them, but gave up after 30 minutes. I had to resort to watching some new episodes of The Simpsons on my PC for a bit of entertainment (obtained from ??????? !). I think that the sun was just starting to set when I turned everything off and went to bed.
I have no idea why it should happen, but as soon as I got onto my bed I started to feel hot. Prior to that I had thought that the evening air was quite pleasantly fresh - even inside my bedroom. If I had been gorging on something covered in chilli sauce I could have understood it, but the last thing I ate was pineapple, and I don't think that is noted for bringing people out in sweats. I eventually got to sleep with the duvet kicked aside later than I wanted - 10pm plus or minus 20 minutes. I then slept solidly for 4 or 5 hours, and then very badly until I gave up trying to sleep half an hour before I was due to get up.
The surprising thing about this morning is how good I feel - both physically and mentally (in comparison to a dead lunatic). It was only natural, or at least it seems that way these days, that when I first woke up I felt pretty dreadful. My head was spinning, my legs had become detached, my elbows and spleen were trembling, and my guts were dancing a polka. Most of that settled down when I had a shower, and as I walked to the station it was only my right knee that gave me some discomfort (if I disregard the slight apprehension about what my guts were up to at the time).
I think it was a minor miracle that all the stuff I did in the garden, involving bending over to pull weeds, and shovelling soil, plus all the gyrations of bending over the bath wresting with heavy wet soapy towels and stuff, doesn't seem to have caused any damage to me this morning. I can feel some very mild stiffness here and there, but it is so mild that I have to stop and think about it to feel it. The idea that I could come through that unscathed makes me feel sort of good, and on top of that there is the sense of accomplishment from doing all that work. It really is a tragic shame that I have to ruin all that great feeling by coming to bloody work, and then being at work for 8 hours before the tedium of getting home again in time for a pointlessly short evening. Ah well, life was good for 5 minutes !
I think it did get a little warmer than the 22° C forecast for yesterday, and that was mainly because there was more sunshine than there was supposed to be. The little thunderstorm that happened as I was writing yesterday didn't last long, and from about 10am onwards there were many sunny periods, and it stayed dry for the rest of the day. It was a nice fresh feeling night, and a pleasant fresh morning. There are currently a few big clouds floating around, and maybe one of them will pour some rain on us - contrary to the forecast that says most of today should be sunny, and moderately warm (25° C). As I write this it is quite grey outside, but until now it has often been nice and sunny, and in theory it should be again after this dull period passes.
I'm not sure if it was foolhardy, brave, or just plain optimism that made me decide to walk to the station, to meet Aleemah, in t-shirt and shorts. It was probably less than an hour, maybe as little as half an hour, after the last peal of thunder could be heard in the distance, and the last rain drop fell. It was a gamble that paid off though, and it was mostly sunny while I was out and about. Our first stop, as usual, was the Catford Wetherspoon's pub for some breakfast food for Aleemah, and booze for me. It was the day after the last day of the cider festival that had had on, and there were a couple of ciders I wanted to taste.
On the way back from the pub we called into Peacocks. They had a sale on, and both Aleemah and I found a couple of things we wanted marked down at half price. Aleemah bought a top, and I bought yet another pair of oversized trainers that fit bterr on my often swollen feet. From the outside they look OK, but they do feel sort of cheap, and just £6 seems like quite an apt price for them.
Aleemah's choice of DVD for yesterday was a TV series called Madigan's Quest (or something like that). I think it was originally been made, and shown in Australia, but had been shown on the BBC - maybe on on of the kiddies channels because I had never heard of it before. We watched 3 short (25 minutes episodes), and I slowly warmed to it, but it's not really my sort of thing.
After Aleemah went home I had some lunch, and put my feet up for half an hour. Then I surprised myself by doing some laundry. It had to be done at some time, but until I started doing it I was feeling sort of lazy - or so I thought. After I had done it, I did become extremely lazy, and spent quite a lot of time reading. I was also so lazy that I ordered a takeaway. It seems I still can't get into the discipline of doing the healthy eating I need to do. It wasn't a terribly terrible takeaway, but I could have sorted out something far better for me if I had tried. Maybe I was a bit bored and takeaways can be exciting or something. Actually there is a lot of truth in that...except I didn't really feel bored. I seemed quite happy to just let time drift by, but what do I know about myself ?
I didn't seem to be in any great rush to get to bed last night...which sort of indicates I wasn't that bored, and obviously not that tired (for some unknown reason). It must have been at least 11pm before I got to sleep with very little effort. It actually felt quite cool and fresh last night, and that helped sleeping a lot. I slept pretty well until 4am this morning. I have no idea why, but I felt like getting up for a bit at that stupid hours, and I did, but a couple of hours later I was fast asleep again. It wasn't always a very deep sleep, and I think it was around 8am that I got up again, and I've been up since than.
I think it is possible that I have blown a braincell because I've been doing strange stuff this morning. It must have happened while I washed another 5 shirts for work (yesterday's laundry was odds and sods). I had the overwhelming urge (sort of) to do some garden maintenance (which probably describes it more accurately than "gardening". If I survive doing it, it must have been terribly good for me when I consider how much I sweated, and how I panted from the exertion of shovelling
At the moment all this effort doesn't seem to have left any painful legacy, but we'll see how I feel in the morning. The trouble is, is that I don't think I've finished for the day. There is still plenty of daylight left, and maybe plenty of sunshine left, and there is just enough breeze to make it good drying weather. I think I am just about to wash a couple of towels, and maybe a few other things, and get then hanging on the line outside before I give up for the day !
2nd August 2014
The rain that was forecast for yesterday never happened. By mid morning the clouds that had spoiled the day dispersed, and by midday, when the rain was forecast for, it was bright and sunny with just a few clouds left in the sky. During the afternoon, and evening, the cloud would come and go, but there was enough to limit the top temperature to just 24° C. The forecast for the evening and night was wrong too. It was forecast to be a muggy night, but I found it to be nice and fresh. This morning it is most definitely cloudy, and a few drops of rain may have fallen already. It is forecast that most of the morning, and much of the evening will be like this, but the afternoon could be bright and sunny. The best we can hope for is a top temperature of 22° C - or that it the official line. Personally I am hoping for something higher than that, and considering it is almost 20° C it might be possible.
I didn't feel too good for much of the time I was at work yesterday. It was a continuation of the bloat that I suffered the previous night. After farting all the way to work in the morning, things settled down for a while before starting up again, and this time things were moving ! I had to make many trips to the toilet at work before I felt comfortable - and that was only about an hour before I was due to go home !
The journey home was uneventful, and the only "excitement", although that it completely the wrong word, was to pop into the Turkish supermarket to pick up a couple of things. Mostly it was a convenient place to buy some diet cola, but I couldn't resist buying some of their lovely seeded bread, and I also got some stuff like giant beans in sauce, and stuffed vine leaves. The stuff in there did lead me to a different dinner to what I thought I would have.
08:45 Newsflash : The sky has got even darker. Rain is now falling, and there has been a peal of thunder from somewhere not too far away.
I was going to have salad and assorted stuff for dinner, but I had fresh sliced bread, some tomatoes that were starting to go soft, and some Edam cheese that was starting to dry out. The obvious thing to do was to have cheese on tomatoes on toast, and apart from not actually toasting the bread, and adding an extra layer of thinly sliced chorizo (or was it pepperoni ?), that was the core of my dinner last night.
After not sleeping well on Thursday night, I had it in mind to go to bed extra early last night, and quite early in the evening my strongest desire was to lay down and relax, but these things have a habit of getting almost ignorable when you are already partly relaxed in a chair. So instead of jumping into bed (and it did feel almost cool enough to get under the duvet) I decided to check the pictures I took on Thursday night at Hardtail's gig. Many of them were taken just using the predominately blue stage lights, and many of those were blurred and useless. That was expected, and the reason why I took so many. A few came out fairly well, and here's a couple of them.
Dan Murphy, and Jamie Bull (and John Sutcliff behind him)
I did take a couple of pictures using flash, and this one of Jamie at his keyboards is one of them.
I probably got to bed a little after 8.30pm, and initially I read for a while before attempting to go to sleep. It took longer than I expected, but I may have been asleep by 10pm, and I think I slept OK until 5am when I would get up on a weekday. I didn't get much sleep after that - which is a pity because I didn't really have to get up until 7am or later. I couldn't stay in bed much longer because Aleemah is visiting today, and there was housework to be done before she arrives. There still is loads of housework that could be done, including an ever growing pile of laundry, but that will have to wait now until Aleemah has gone home again this afternoon, and even than I may not exactly rush to do it.....
Yesterday's weather was not exactly how the forecast said it would be. The temperature was a couple of degrees higher than the forecast suggested. My thermometer said the temperature hit 27° C again, and without the rain that was forecast for late evening, it made for another rather muggy night. It was 17° C when I woke up at 5am this morning, and as the sky started to light up it gave every impression that today would be a fine summers day. The sky looked clear, and some high points were just about being painted yellow as the sun rose. 90 minutes later, as my train trundled towards London, it had all changed. The sky was completely overcast, and it looked like it would rain at any moment. An hour or two of rain is forecast for around midday, but it was supposed to be bright, and maybe even sunny before and after it. The forecast reckons the top temperature today will only be 22° C - considerably cooler than the last couple of weeks if it happens.
Throughout the afternoon, and as I made my way home from work, I was looking forward to last night - Although I couldn't allow myself to enjoy it too much because of work this morning. I don't think I particularly enjoyed travelling home, but it was probably about par for the course. When I got home I decided to have a quick snack before washing my hair and showering. It was a quick snack, but it wasn't as small as it could have been, and neither was what I ate after I had shampooed and showered.
I definitely didn't want to eat much, perhaps just enough to line my stomach before pouring beer in it, but I must have overdone it. I didn't have any single big portion, but I did have several small things. Of course there is the possibility that it was something else beyond the food, but the net result was that I felt terribly bloated and uncomfortable when I finally went out. It was a feeling that improved, but stayed with me all evening.
My first port of call was The Catford Constitutional Club where I met the Thursday night drinking club. I had two pints in there - neither of which I really enjoyed - and then Chris and I went around the corner to The Catford Ram to watch Hardtail playing in there. They started at just gone 9pm instead of 8.30pm as expected, and that was a bit of a shame both for me and for Chris. I wanted to try and be home in bed not too much later than 10pm, and Chris wanted to go on to The Coach And Horses in Beckenham for Geoff's open mic night, and where Rob Todd was celebrating his birthday. If I didn't have to come to work today, and if my guts hadn't felt sore, I would have liked to go on to Beckenham myself.
I am not impressed with the beer in The Catford Ram these days. I don't think the governor knows how to keep all the equipment clean and well maintained. So I think I only had two pints in there. I wasn't terribly impressed with Hardtail's performance either. I've seen them play before, and I am sure they sounded better, but last night it was like something wouldn't click. It wasn't awful, far from it, and it was probably the knowledge that they could do better that made it sound worse than it really was.
As 10pm approached my stomach was feeling far less bloated, and I was tempted to have another pint, but I decided I would stick to my guns and get home. It seemed nice and fresh outside, and it should have been pleasant walking home, but I was feeling the strain after a long day, and even if the bloat had receded I still felt rather heavy and lumbering. When I got home I decided it would be stupid to have what was originally planned as the second half of my dinner. I still wanted something to nibble on and settle the beer, and so I had four oat biscuits, and although it seemed barely more than a mouthful they seemed to do the trick.
I managed to get into bed, with the light off, by 10:15pm. Unfortunately, while it seemed fairly fresh outdoors, it was hot and stuffy in my bedroom again. I seem to recall thrashing about for quite a long time before I fell asleep. I have no idea when that was, and I have no idea if I slept well. I have a vague recollection of waking up once, maybe twice, but I don't really remember anything until I woke up at 4am, and then couldn't really get back to sleep again - which was bloody annoying !
This morning I am probably suffering from Ebola fever, but it could be trapped wind, aching limbs, and aching other bits. I guess it is a continuation of yesterday evening's bloat and stuff that this morning I have a bad case of the wind. I farted on the way to the station. I farted on the train. I farted when I got off the train. I farted on the next train (and that was after spending 10 minutes pondering the ways of the world in the gents on Waterloo station), and I farted when I got off the next train. I farted while walking to work, and I have farted twice while writing this. I dread to think how much damage I am doing to the ozone layer, and how much all that methane is contributing to global warming, and I dread to think what it is doing to the stitching in my trousers ! Oh, and my legs feel stiff this morning !
It will be nice when work is over for the day, and I can get home. There are several things I could do tonight, and I expect I will do a some of them. It's the first of the month, and I've just been paid. So tonight I will try and work out if I can warp my budget enough to transfer some more money in my savings account. With a bit of luck I will achieve another of tonight's aims - getting to bed, and falling asleep nice and early. Washing a couple of shirts would be useful, but not essential, and I have a funny feeling that I won't find the enthusiasm to do that. It's more likely I would spend some time checking and editing some of the photos I took last night, but even that doesn't sound like an urgent job right now.