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My Diary/Blog For the Month of June 2014

Monday 30th June 2014
08:18 BST

  I had hoped that yesterday may have stayed dry, but the forecast underestimated the rain instead of overestimating it. It may have been dry when I was writing yesterday, but soon afterwards the rain started to fall., and it was quite persistent from what I could see. I expect it did stop now and then, but I am unsure when it stopped completely. It may well have been sometime during the night. This morning started nice and bright, but at just under 11 C it was rather chilly ! There is a fair amount of cloud in the sky right now, but it is (or appears to be) quite high up, and is broken enough to show patches of blue everywhere. The forecast says that today will be dry and mostly bright with some spells of strong sunshine, but the temperature will struggle to reach 20
C (and may only reach an almost chilly 19 C).

 It was probably lucky that I got my shopping from Aldi yesterday morning. At one point I was thinking along the lines of going out in the afternoon, but it turned out that it would have been a very wet and soggy shopping trip if I had gone in the afternoon. The morning, although not that warm, seemed bright and sunny enough to go out wearing shorts. I have to admit that they were a little tight, but they seemed comfortable enough that I could have worn them for a long time without discomfort. It makes it feel annoying that my waist is only about half an inch bigger than it was (early) last year, or perhaps the year before that, but I can't seem to find the inspiration to sustain the effort needed to lose that half inch, and put all my trousers/jeans/shorts etc back in commission.

 I didn't feel any special pressure or inspiration to watch what I ate yesterday, or none beyond being careful not to really over do it. It could be argued, mainly by throwing all the facts out the window, that for a day when I had just been shopping, I ate almost moderately. In terms of bulk it possibly was quite moderate, and it even included such healthy things as fresh strawberries (served on their own without sugar and cream, or any other topping), but it did include some naughty stuff like chocolate.

 One of the things that didn't help was that I did some intensive resting yesterday.The strange thing is that I actually wanted to go out somewhere to do something with someone, but I didn't know where, what or who ! Not only that but it was raining too ! So I lay on my bed reading, and even dozing off from time to time - which was not too surprising because by 4pm it almost looked like night outside !

 Last Friday I was in some pain during the day after I seemed to get cramp in the calf muscle of my right leg. By Saturday morning my leg was feeling almost OK, and although I moaned about other assorted aches and pains prior to going out on Saturday night, pains from my calf muscle was not among them. Maybe the 3 pints of Stella Artois I drunk in the pub helped, but when I came striding home after Saturday night's gig, I felt pretty damn good, and there was not the merest hint of any pains in any of my legs.

 This was true yesterday as well. I felt pretty fair as I walked to Aldi, and not that bad when I walked back laden down with shopping. It seems pretty obvious that I have to blame work for the pain coming back to my right calf muscle as I came to work this morning. It can be quite a strong pain if I am stupid enough to move my leg in such a way as to incite it. It feels like the pain immediately after muscle cramp. It was probably not so strong as it was on Friday, but it was the most uncomfortable thing about coming to work.

 Other discomforts included a sort of bloated feel to my stomach - that is actually a very poor description. It didn't feel like internal pressure but something like all the muscles that support my gut had collapsed in some way........and maybe there is the merest tickle of a hint of truth in that. My chest also felt a bit weird - almost, but not like it was sore. It could be that through some impossible medical mystery I am pregnant, or maybe I am growing the large fart known to mankind, or even womankind, and sometime this afternoon there will be a mighty explosion, and all will be well again - for me, although the rest of Earlsfield may be dead from concussion or gas poisoning.

 Two things of note happened this morning The first was that  checked my bank account. My wages have been paid in, and my transaction record showed that my tight(ish) budgetary constraints had worked so well that I ended the month more solvent than I thought possible. That small surplus, plus a rather bigger chunk from my wages that have just been deposited, are now transferred into my savings account. This will probably mean that I'll be broke by the end of July, but at least I am now getting to the stage where I could walk out of my job and just about survive on my savings if I lived like a pauper (literally !) until I get some extremely moderate pension payments in 12 months time.

 The other thing of note was what was happening on the concourse of Waterloo station this morning.
Waterloo station concourse
 This morning nothing was going on....although there was a man in the middle consulting a clipboard. Maybe he was wondering when whoever might be using the concourse today was arriving. Maybe they were held up by leaves on the line. Perhaps someone will be there when I pass through on my way home after work. These and other mysteries may well never be solved !
Sunday 29th June 2014
13:36 BST

  Yesterday was a lot drier than I believe it was supposed to be. That's not to say it was all day. It rained for a couple of hours in the early afternoon, and although the rain was never very heavy, there was one single earth shattering boom of thunder. It happened as the rain was just ending. I don't recall any sunshine from the afternoon onwards until just as the sun was setting - and I didn't see it first hand. What I did see was all the road signs glowing bright orange as the bus I was on went up the hill to Bromley. If I had been able to turn around and look out the back of the bus I would probably have seen the great glowing disk of the sun setting.

 It feels a little cool compared to yesterday, and yesterday was not that warm (although I have no idea what the temperature was). The temperature right now is just over 20 C, and it is probably as high as it is going to get. So far we have had some sunny periods, but there have probably been more dull periods. There are some very dark grey looking clouds up in the sky right now. The forecast predicts rain from about 6pm, and if that is wrong it may be because the rain starts before then. On the other hand, just like yesterday, it may not rain in the evening at all !

 I'm not sure how to describe yesterday. I guess I was having a very lazy time - but it may have been therapuetic. The one thing I definitely wanted to do was to go out in the evening. It was a bit touch and go, but I managed that OK. It was because of that, that I tried to moderate the quantity of food I ate (but not be too particular about the quality of what I ate). For instance breakfast was cold pizza ! The last thing I ate before going out, as a very late lunch, was a bit different !
stuffed cabbage leaves
I found these in the Turkish supermarket.
stuffed cabbage leaves and tomatoes
  I have to admit those stuffed cabbage leaves don't look too appetising when on a plate alongside some bright red baby plum tomatoes. It is not terribly obvious from the picture that they are stuffed with what should be, but wasn't, spicy rice. Well it was rice, but it wasn't exactly spicy, and wasn't all that flavourful either. Much of the taste of this lunch came from the peppery tasting Turkish sausage that I had with it.

 After this strange lunch I practically went to bed. I lay on my bed, partly covered with the duvet, and before long my eyelids started to droop.  I ended up laying there drifting in and out of sleep for over two hours. In theory that set me up to go out in the evening, but in practice it just made going out harder. Having a warm shower made it harder still !  I was feeling very relaxed, as well as uncomfortable in the most subtle ways. Nothing actually hurt, but it felt like it was about to hurt in all sorts of places. Someone described it as like feeling old, and I guess that is sort of right.

 It is also probably very wrong, and the true condition is that I am just very unfit and very unhealthy. It is strange to consider that prior to my operation last September I was feeling very fit and healthy apart from the unpleasant angina pains that would start anytime I tried to do the lightest exercise. The thing is though, I never had any feeling that I couldn't start that exercise. It was purely that I had to stop just after starting. Now it feels like I can't even start....and yet when I do it is rarely as bad as I imagine it will be.

 My body urged me to stay in last night, but my mind definitely wanted me to go and see Night Owl playing in The Chatterton Arms pub just the other side of Bromley. It took an awful lot of effort to get me out the front door, but once I was moving I felt fairly OK, and I didn't feel that bad in the pub. I'm not sure why I felt a strong urge to leave there early, but I did. I guess it was just gone 11pm when I left, and the gig probably still had almost an hour to run.

 Once I was out of the pub in the fresh air I began to feel even better. It wasn't so much the fresh air, but the feeling I was moving in the right direction - towards home - that felt best of all. Maybe my decision to leave when I did was not such a bad idea because I was yawning almost nonstop towards the end of the bus ride. Once I was back in Catford I bought some chicken and chips to take home for a very late dinner. Maybe dinner revived me a bit because I stayed up eating dinner, and watching quite a bit of Bryan Ferry's Glastonbury performance on BBC4, and once that finished I found the energy to check through some of the photos I took at the gig before jumping in bed  and falling almost instantly asleep.
Dave Griffiths in
                          noise-o-vision !
This picture was taken was taken without flash, and in quite low lighting. In theory it is a crap photo. It's all noise, but it has some sort of strange merit about it. Maybe it is good, and maybe it is bad, but I sort of like it.
Jo Corteen
Shooting without flash can be very hit and miss. This one, using just the coloured stage lighting seems to have come out OK, but it is a pity about the yellow glare coming from the doorway to the toilets. That doorway spoiled many of my pictures.
Jo Corteen again
My camera likes red and blues, but hates green for some reason.
Jo Corteen 3
This picture should not have worked. Shooting straight into the stage lights should have messed everything up, but somehow it came out quite pleasing - to my jaundiced eye !
 
 So far today I have done a fair amount of photo editing, and I've also been shopping to Aldi. I'm not sure what I am doing for the rest of today. I was thinking I might do a bit of laundry, but there is nothing terribly important to do. I have plenty of shirts and stuff for work, and the weather is too precarious to do anything that needs drying outside such as bed linen. Maybe I'll just do some reading, and perhaps have a snooze this afternoon.
Saturday 28th June 2014
12:41 BST

  Yesterday's weather did not follow the forecast at all ! It was nowhere near as bad as expected. There was a little sunshine in the morning, and then it rained for maybe an hour - 4 hours early, and for a quarter of the time forecast. Instead of going home in pouring rain, I went home from work in sunshine (well mostly sunshine, there were a few dull moments on the way). I don't think it rained in the night, and earlier this morning the sky was mostly blue, but there have been some showers in the last couple of hours. It doesn't look that bad outside right now, and it seems to be nearly 23 C instead of the 17
C that the recently updated forecast is saying it should be right now ! That same forecast say that there will be some sunny periods during the rest of the day, but that rain will predominate. Let's hope they are wrong - very wrong when it comes to this evening.

 I checked my bank balance on the way home from work, and it was not that good, but also not as bad as I feared. Unless any unusual expense crops up in the next couple of days I should still be able to transfer at least 4/17/3d to my savings account at the end of the month (it's so long since I last wrote a pre-decimal amount that I can't remember if that sum of money is formatted correctly !).

 To celebrate not being broke I spent even more money - which I know was sort of foolish, but I had my reasons. It was all the fault of one of my workmates. He had mentioned that he was having pizza last night, and I decided I wanted pizza too. So I ordered a takeaway, and paid for it on my credit card so it won't have to be paid for out of this months dwindling money supply. With the benefit of hindsight there were several reasons why this was a bad idea.

 It was obviously a foolish waste of money, and it was also a very unhealthy form of food...at least pizza by itself is very unhealthy, but I ordered more than just pizza. I ordered the smallest pizza available, and only ate half of it. The rest I had for breakfast this morning. I also ordered a chicken shish kebab with the pizza, and as that is usually grilled meat with salad it is close to being healthy - if they don't marinade it, and baste it with too much oil while it is cooking, and also don't dress the salad with too much oil.

 Fortunately the salad was not dressed in any oil, and that was part of the third reason why it was a bad idea. I chose the takeaway on the basis that it had been awarded 4 out of 5 stars for hygiene according to the food ratings website. I wonder if that rating still holds because the kebab tasted odd, and not terribly pleasant. It wasn't by any means terrible, and so far it doesn't seem to have done me any harm, but there was something wrong with it somewhere. On top of that, the pizza, although pleasant tasting, seemed very slightly undercooked, and was not very warm when delivered. Overall it was a bad experience, and I feel that I wasted my money on it.

 On the whole, last night was an unsatisfactory night. There was almost nothing to watch on TV. I did watch Blondie performing at Glastonbury, but the next band being shown by BBC4 was Elbow, and I could only stomach 5 minutes of them before channel hopping to find something else on to watch. There was nothing ! To my amazement even Dave were not showing any multiple repeats of Top Gear, QI, QIXL, or Have I got News For You ! 

 So I went to bed a lot earlier than I intended to. In practice, my intention to stay up a bit later than usual was just bravado, and once I got into bed I fell asleep quite quickly. I think I slept well last night. I didn't have any unpleasant dreams that I recall, and as much as I strain my memory, I can't seem to recall any dreams at all, although I am sure I had some. Probably the best thing about last nights sleep was that it was completely unstressful. I had absolutely no plans for this morning, and I could just wake up whenever it seemed good.

 In practice that meant semi-getting up 90 minutes later than a work day, but ready to go back to bed at a moments notice. In fact I stayed awake for several hours just looking at stuff on the internet. Once again, with nothing that needed doing, I was free to follow links ad-infinitum from page to page on the internet - which is fine until you want to get back to a page with several fascinating looking links on it. That page is in your browsers history along with a load of other pages that you don't want to go back to - so it should be easy - in theory, but not always in practice.

 I did eventually get back into bed. It did feel like it was a bit late in the morning, but I thought - why not ? The answer came about 20 minutes after I got back to sleep (maybe less). My phone started to ring, and it was my friend Aleemah wondering if I could look up some directions for her on the internet. That call only lasted 10 minutes, but it was enough to make me think that it was not worth trying to get back to sleep again - and I was right ! 10 minutes later my friend Lee rung me up asking for some technical information. There are only a very few people who ever ring me up, and two of them chose this morning !

 I do have a couple of things planned for today. One is not important, and is to get some shopping from Aldi. I could, and maybe will go there tomorrow. The other thing is not until tonight when I want to go out to The Chatterton Arms in Bromley to see Night Owl playing a gig there. It's usually a long night there, and I wonder if anyone will be supporting them. Maybe Chris's side project, The Spiders, might play. I do know that Chris is acting as sound man for Night Owl's gig.

 On my way home from work last night I decided to take some better pictures of the latest promotional event on the concourse of Waterloo station. The picture I posted yesterday was a bif naff, and I got a couple of far better ones, plus a mystery picture...
Stella Artois 2
Stella Artois 3
Two more views of the Stella Artois and deckchair promotional stand at Waterloo.
Mystery product at Waterloo concourse
I didn't notice this until I was almost too far away to photograph it. I have no idea what is being promoted on this stand, but it is outside Boots shop on the concourse. So at a guess it is some sort of cosmetic or perfume that Boots sells.

One more thing to share - some great music and some of my pictures put to good use..
Friday 27th June 2014
08:32 BST

  Most of yesterday was just about on the margins of acceptable weather - it was dry, perhaps a microscopic bit better than tepid, and not too dull. It lulled me into a false sense of security, and while I was actually quite secure indoors, and half in my bed, it came as a surprise when it started raining at roughly 8.30pm. It was so dull outside by then that I drew the curtains as if it was night, but a quick peek through the curtains a bit later suggested there had been quite a lot of rain. I have no idea when the rain stopped, but the roads were essentially dry when I walked to the station this morning. For a few minutes it was quite bright, but it didn't last long, and most of my journey into work was done under various shades of grey skies. It should stay dry for a few hours, but it seems certain that I'll be going home in the rain, and it will probably be raining for much of tomorrow !

 I continued to feel off colour yesterday, but I didn't have any significant symptoms. It was just little bits of this and little bits of that. This time this and that included a sort of headache. It wasn't actually painful, and felt something like my brain had been swapped with mashed potato. All I know is that laying on my bed, sometimes with the curtains closed, and sometimes with my eyes closed, was more comfortable than not doing that.

 All that extra resting did not make going to sleep easy, and a couple of large gin and tonics didn't seem to help, and may have made things worse. I felt uncomfortable in bed when I was trying to get to sleep. Some of that discomfort was trying to balance feeling too warm or too cold. One leg, and one arm under the duvet seemed to be the best arrangement, but it wasn't ideal. After lying there for some time I suddenly broke out in a sweat for no apparent reason, and then 10 or 15 minutes later I stopped sweating again. It came and went as suddenly as someone pulling a switch.

 Once I got to sleep I slept fairly well, but I do remember some dreams. One dream was a bit novel - in as much as I had never thought about what I seemed to observe in it. In this dream I was outside the front of my house in a garden that was bigger than reality. There were two cars parked on the grass, and they were not parked very neatly. The worst parked one was a three wheeler, something like, but not a Reliant Robin. I picked it up somehow, and moved it to a better position.

 Huge feats of strength are unusual in dreams, but what I found most exceptional was what I couldn't see. I could see one side of the grass - that was the side of my house - but there was nothing on the other side of the grass. It wasn't hidden, it wasn't just too vague to distinguish - there just wasn't anything to see. It was like I just didn't want to turn my head far enough to see in that direction. I guess my brain just couldn't be bothered to make up any scenery in that direction, so I never looked for it.

 There was one other dream I had that I wanted to remember, but it all seems to have evaporated now. I think it is was an unpleasant dream, but I have no idea why now. It might have been that dream I woke up from at 4.30am. It was annoyingly early, but I decided to actually start getting up then. I thought if I did it very slowly I might be able to slip into reality with it being too much of a shock to my system. It may have worked ! I don't think I enjoyed a single second of my journey to work this morning, but it didn't seem too traumatic.

 I feel moderately lousy, but I guess I'll survive, and at least it is Friday today. So I have the whole weekend to be not at work. It is just a shame that I don't get paid until Monday. If I was flush with money right now I might..........actually I have no idea what I might do differently if I had pots of money at my disposal - probably nothing different at all, but it's always nice to dream.

 I've written this in small dribs and drabs because people keep bothering me. Some obviously think I come to work to work ! I don't have time to prof read it. So the other million mistakes that I have no already spotted will have to remain !

 This morning there was something on the concourse of Waterloo station that I could almost understand. "Old wife beater" or in more polite company, Stella Artois lager beer was being promoted. I am not sure what all the other junk around the stand was supposed to be about, but I can definitely recognise beer !
Stella Artois !!
Thursday 26th June 2014
11:56 BST

  It stayed cooler than I expected it to be yesterday. The forecast said 20 C, I optimistically hoped for 23
C, but I don't think the temperature topped 19 C in many places. Despite that it was fairly bright outside, stayed dry, and it didn't feel too bad. Today is forecast to be slightly cooler, 18 C, and slightly duller. As soon as the sun sets, or maybe a little while after, it will probably rain. It seems that we are rushing towards winter ! Tomorrow will be another degree cooler, and there will be copious amounts of rain - including some thunder and lightning ! Saturday may be just as bad !

 I didn't feel that wonderful at work yesterday. I had no specific symptoms. Maybe the only symptoms were in my head - at least during the middle of the working day - but by the time home time came by I was feeling unusually tired. Before I went to work I did have some fanciful idea that I might wash another duvet cover when I got home, and leave it to dry overnight, and through today, but I felt completely drained when I got home.

 I wondered why that might be, and considered the possibility that it might just be the travelling, or that it might just be all in the head, but this morning more physical things seem to have happened. I did very little last night, and I was in bed, and fast asleep reasonably early. I think I slept OK, but I woke up with a bad headache, and my throat felt sore. It wasn't a dry throat sort of soreness, but a sort of inflamed feeling. The sore throat has long gone now, but my head still feels sort of tight, although not actually sore. 

 I probably could have taken some paracetamol to speed my recovery up, but I went back to bed after calling work, and although I didn't expect to sleep there was a big clue that I did end up sleeping - a weird dream ! Anyway, laying there with my eyes defocussed in the low level of light seeping through the curtains made me feel a lot better for a while. I felt good enough to finally wash that duvet cover, and it is now hanging on the line dripping dry.

 It is possible, if not probable that washing that duvet cover may not have been such a great idea because I am beginning to feel off colour again. It is a feeling akin to that feeling you sometimes get before a storm. A sort of heavy feeling where every movement or thought is an effort. I suppose, considering the direction the weather has been going in, that there actually is a possibility of a storm approaching despite the forecast saying today should be OK.

 I think I am going to have a little lie down now, but before I go I'll leave you with news from the concourse of Waterloo station. Yesterday it was the turn of Regain to promote their product. I really should check, but I think it's a hair loss product, but the promotional stand could be for selling brand new footballs for some bizarre reason !
Regain at Waterloo
Wednesday 25th June 2014
08:43 BST

  It was bloody good drying weather yesterday - until 7pm when it finally started to rain nearly 2 hours later than the forecast predicted. There wasn't always that much sunshine before the rain, but until the clouds started to thicken it was bright, and it was warm - around 26 C by my reckoning. I don't think the rain got very heavy, and it may not have fallen for very long, but perhaps we were lucky. I am sure I heard a distant, but quite prolonged peal of thunder. This morning started out dry and sunny. There was hardly a cloud in the sky, but it was rather cool. My thermometer said 11.8
C when I left to come to work, and that is fairly chilly. There is more cloud in the sky now, and the forecast says we will lose most of the sunshine by midday, but it will stay bright and dry all day. The top temperature was forecast to be quite low, but I would be surprised if we didn't see 23 C by sometime this afternoon.

 Even if I didn't go out exploring/walking as I intended to do during my 6 days away from work, it was still a successful 6 days, and no more so than yesterday. I had a few boozing session, an evening out at a gig, and got a little laundry done, but yesterday I got a lot of laundry done, as well as a shopping trip to Aldi. In theory it was all quite exhausting, and doing the laundry did raise quite a bit of sweat, but I am seriously considering the outlandish idea that it may actually be good exercise !

 Yesterday morning I hand washed, and hand wrung out (although not terribly effectively) a duvet cover, a sheet and some pillow cases, and hung it all outside to drip and dry in the sunshine. I guess it's early onset Altzheimers, or maybe just not bothering to remember trivia syndrome, but I am now not so sure if that list of bedclothes is strictly accurate. In reality accuracy does not matter here. All I know is that it was both hard work and very satisfying to make a dent in a backlog of difficult to hand wash stuff.

 One reason for my confusion is that I didn't stop there. It dried so quickly on the line that I did some more. This time it was just a duvet cover and a sheet. Even they dried very quickly, but 5pm was approaching, and the weatherman said that rain was expected at any moment. He was wrong, it was 7pm, or just after when the rain actually started, and initially it was light that it was almost ignorable. I was feeling rather good about the amount of laundry I had done, and hatched a cunning planning to do even more.

 So I washed two more sheets, and hung them on the line just before the rain was supposed to fall. By the time the rain really arrived my sheets were 90% dry, and rather than leave them out overnight, and bring them in, hopefully sunbaked, when I got home from work today, I decided to bring them in to finish drying over the banister rail (always a handy place to dry stuff). I didn't check, but I am sure they would have been bone dry when I woke up this morning. It is possible that I might wash a rather heavy duty, winter duvet cover tonight if I feel in the right mood.
washing on the line
The last two sheets on the line about an hour after being washed, and nearly half dry !

  Apart from those three shortish, but rather intensive bursts of energy doing laundry, and also my shopping trip to Aldi, I spent the remainder of the day being lazy - deservedly lazy in my own selfish opinion. All three things, being lazy, going to Aldi, and short periods of hard work, could have conspired together to make me eat rather more than I should have, and they both did, and they didn't. In total physical amount I didn't eat all that much, but one item on it's own was enough to kill a whole town of people by all manner of modern diseases. I ate a large tub of ice cream - or basically frozen sugar and lard. The only thing that saved my life was that it probably didn't have much salt in it ! Mind you, it was rather tasty :-)

 There was an advert on TV last night extolling the virtues of new season fresh British strawberries - all deliciously red, ripe, plump and sweet. The advert said that Tesco, and the other big supermarkets were selling them for 2 a punnet, but Asda were selling the same punnets for just 1.50. That's a good saving...almost. It just so happens that one of the things I bought from Aldi was a big punnet of really rather delicious, wonderfully ripe, plump, red strawberries. The punnet was so big that I had to force the last couple of strawberries down, and the price of that punnet was........just 1.39 WINNER !!!!

I was fast asleep in good time last night - sometime around 9pm as far as I can remember. Last night I really did sleep well. I only woke once in the night (that I am aware of), and I had to be woken by my alarm going off. The latter probably means that another hour or two of sleep might have been a good idea, but I feel unusually good when I first woke. It's a shame that didn't mean that I would continue to feel good.

 Most of me is actually in fair working order. I can feel my arm muscles were well used yesterday, but they are not stiff or particularly painful - much to my great surprise. My legs are a bit stiff, but I think that's now just a fact of life. What I was not expecting was the explosive results when I went to the toilet for the first time. I didn't have any warning aches or pains, but boy did I explode ! Of course from then on I had to visit the toilet many times before I felt fit to leave for my train to work. In point of fact I was not fit to leave for my usual train but had to get the one afterwards. Since than I have been OK. I wonder if it was the ice cream or something else that triggered it ?

 Spotted a couple of hundred yards from work........
A Boris Bike far from home
I have no idea where the nearest official parking spaces for "Boris Bike's" are, but I know they are not by car parking signs here
http://goo.gl/maps/2nX2v
If you are looking for a lost bike Boris, you need look no further.

 It is possible that I ought to do some work while at work today. This is a shame because I was just getting used to not doing much, but I guess I ought to earn my wages - meagre as they are. It will be quite nice when the end of the month comes and I get more wages in my bank account. It is possible that I am allowing myself to get a bit paranoid about the state of my bank account. I've been careful, and the chances are I'll get to the end of the month without having to get anywhere near using my overdraft. It would break my heart to actually use my overdraft because that would mean paying bank charges, and I would feel marginally easier selling my soul to the devil than paying charges to my bank !
Tuesday 24th June 2014
10:35 BST

 There was little direct sunshine yesterday, but it was mostly bright until late afternoon. The temperature rose higher than expected - 26 C instead of the forecasted 24
C - but it started to feel sticky by mid afternoon. With rain forecast for the evening it had all the makings of a storm brewing up. There was no storm, but there was some moderately heavy rain after 8pm (an hour later than forecast). I think the rain only lasted an hour or so, but I ceased to pay attention to the outside world once the rain started. I think to day may well be a rerun of yesterday - with a few changes to the timing. The rain may come earlier today, and maybe the temperature may be nearer the forecast of 23 C, but in essence it will still be very similar. The current forecast says tomorrow will be cooler, occasionally brighter, but sometime duller, and more importantly, it should stay dry all day.

 Yesterday did not work out quite like I expected it to.  The big change was that I did not see Patricia. She had three lucrative interpreter jobs that she had to do. Maybe I'll see her today, or if not today, and she still wants to grab some winter clothes from here, she will have to pop in after work on Wednesday or Friday (I'll probably be boozing after work on Thursday).

discounts !
 Instead of seeing Patricia I had to come up with other stuff to do. After paying my TV Licence I was technically broke.....but not actually destitute ! So I went for a quick walk to the cash machines and topped up my wallet, and on my way back, before spending a little of my freshly topped up wallet on a couple of bottles of diet cola, I took a look in Peacocks on the high street.

 I am still suffering, in varying degrees, with swollen feet, ankles and lower legs since my operation last September. I am beginning to think that the surgeons botched the operation, and I rather wish I had stayed awake to supervise what they were doing !

 Anyhow, my swollen feet means that my shoe size has effectively gone up by one size. Some of my current shoes still fit well, and are mostly comfortable, but others are almost unwearable. So I wondered what cheap and nasty trainers Peacocks might have in  my new occasional size.

 They had a fair selection, and it included some turquoise, almost plimsol like, trainers that I had hoped to buy some time ago. I ended up buying two new pairs, one turquoise, and the other light blue in similat, but not identical styles. There was no hint about it that I could see in the shop, but when I got to the till I found they were both subject to a "temporary price change", and were only 8.40 each instead of 12 each. That rather fitted in with my impecunious state !

   Going out to the cash machines, Peacocks, and finally to the corner shop, was the last thing of note that I did yesterday. I was more than happy to laze around snoozing, reading and watching a bit of TV. It sounds as if it could have been boring, but the time seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, it was time for bed, but once in bed (or technically on it because it was too warm in it) I carried on reading until midnight - which was rather late for me.

 I'm tempted to say that I slept well once I had fallen asleep sometime after midnight, but I had some peculiar dreams, and for the first time that I was aware of, a mild case of sleep paralysis. I was having a dream that that was very close to reality. In the dream I was in my bed, and my bed was in a bedroom that was almost identical to my real bedroom, but I think it was slightly bigger, and there was something else odd about it that I can't put my finger on. It was all so close to reality that I was unsure if it was a dream, or if it was reality. I woke up in the dream because something touched my foot, and I kicked it off. I'm sure I heard it drop to the floor. I obviously wanted to see what I had kicked, but I couldn't move. I had to sort of count to three before I could move, and during that count I woke up for real. It was all a bit disturbing for a minute or two.

 I guess that dream happened at around 4am. I managed to fall asleep again until 5am when I will have to get up for work tomorrow, but this morning I went back to sleep again after a while, and finally woke up for good (or at least for this morning - the afternoon comes with no guarantees) a litttle before 8am. I guess I felt OK, but I didn't rush into anything for an hour or two. I spent a little while researching the idea of a trip to Deal on the Kent coast. I thought it might be nice to visit the pier there, and take a walk along the beach. The only trouble is that it would take 3 hours to get there by train, and cost 37 ! I could walk there in less than three hours days !

 I think I worked out my anger by washing a double duvet cover, and a couple of pillowcases. They are now hanging out on the line to dry, and if they dry as quickly as I have after sweating after a warmish shower to wash the sweat off after doing that laundry, then they might be half dry even now.  With rain due anytime after mid aftenoon they will have to come this afternoon in even if still slightly damp. It is possible that I might do another duvet cover, and maybe a sheet before the day is out. There won't be time for them to dry today, but if I leave them out they should be dry when I get home from work tomorrow.

 I guess I am sort of waiting to see if Patricia contacts me before deciding on doing anything epic today, but I don't think I'll wait before going to get some shopping. I think I'll pop down the road to Aldi to get a few things in while I can (Aldi is not on my way home from work, and would be a very annoying detour - hence why I sometimes use Tesco on my way home from work). The only really important thing I ought to try and do today is to make sure I am fast asleep in bed in time for getting up at 5am not being too big a shock to my system !
Monday 23rd June 2014
08:31 BST

 While yesterday may have been like an early summers day, today will not be quite so good. It is currently 20 C, which is pretty good for a morning, but the temperature will only rise by about three degrees - possibly ! There has been some weak and hazy sunshine this morning, and if the weather follows the forecast we will soon lose the sunshine for 3 or 4 hours, and then it will be back, and maybe even better until some big black clouds pass by around 7pm, and dump their contents on our heads ! It seems like an approximation to this weather pattern will continue through to the end of the week when, if the forecasters have read their seaweed correctly, it will be cold, dark and wet all day on Friday. Lovely !

 I had a nice lazy evening last night. After my food frenzy when I got home from the pub, I didn't eat that much more - which is odd because I had a dinner part 2 planned or imagined. It wasn't that long after about 8.30pm that I decided to do some reading in bed. I managed to read for perhaps 40 minutes before I couldn't keep my eyes open any more. Unfortunately I hadn't brushed my teeth by then, and it rather spoiled things to have to get up and brush them. The deed was done, and 5 or 10 minutes later I was back in bed, and falling asleep.

 If it hadn't been for some quite unpleasant dreams I would have said that I had a good nights sleep. Maybe it was those dreams that woke me up at 4.50am, or maybe it was just habit. If I had to go to work today I would have had to get up permanently, but this morning I had the luxury of reading a couple of tech news items on www.theregister.co.uk before getting back in bed. I didn't get to sleep properly...or did I ? On reflection, it seems like almost 2 hours passed by very quickly ! Maybe I was asleep after all.

 Once I got up again it took a little while to get the creases out of my bones and brain, and then I felt just about well enough to tackle some laundry. When that was done, and the washing hung out on the line, I then did almost the remainder of the washing up that I failed to complete yesterday morning. There is still one bowl that needs a bit of soaking before being attacked with sponge backed scourer and washing up liquid. I'll do that later, but the next thing that needs cleaning is me !
more washing on the line
The evidence ! My hard labour for the morning - one sheet and four pillowcases. I also did a face flannel and a dish cloth, but there are drying indoors. You can see how dim the sun is this morning, and how low it was in the sky when I took this picture. The less bright area at the bottom of the laundry is the shadow of the fence (out of view on the right), and the shadow of next doors house going up the left hand side of the big sheet.

 There was one other thing I did this morning, and it was agonisingly painful to do, and will give me nightmares for months to come. I paid my 145 yearly TV License. It nearly broke my heart and testicles to do it, but it is done, and I am now almost destitute until the end of the month (although I think I can find money for food, transport and booze until then, but no extravagances or other impulsive buying - boo hoo !).

 My plans for today are constrained by the belief that Patricia will be dropping by to pick out some winter clothes that she dumped here ages ago. She will be needing them when she flies back to Argentina at the end of the week. Maybe once she has done that we might go for a drink, and maybe lunch or something. If booze is involved I will probably spend the rest of the afternoon, and into the evening, intensely relaxing. Possibly watching a bit of TV and/or reading my book. If no booze is involved, or just a little bit of it, I will probably do the same things, but with less of a hangover ! Maybe tomorrow, my last day off work, will be the day when I finally get to go out exploring somewhere.
Sunday 22nd June 2014
18:22 BST

  Yesterday and today have been very similar. There was more sunshine than expected, and that made it warmer than the forecast seemed to suggest it would be. The current temperature is only 24 C, but I am sure it has been a degree or two higher. It is still bright outside, but it is getting cloudier. That has allowed the temperature to drop a bit, but it is still dry and should remain that way until 7pm tomorrow - although the chances of that being accurate to the hour are mighty slim. The morning, and much of the afternoon may be sunny, and if we are lucky is will be pleasantly warm, and stay dry all day.

 It's been a pleasant and productive day today, but before describing that I need to go back in time to the morning of the day before yesterday. While I was walking to the pub for a drink with Kevin and Patricia I saw something I had never seen before. Everybody has seen a huge great tower crane, but I'm guessing few have seen them erected. I still have not seen the entire process, but I've now had a glimpse of a bit of it.
crane erection 1
 They say the best camera is the one you have with you. All I had was my mobile phone. A camera with optical zoom would have been better, but what the mobile phone camera left out is easy to imagine.  The huge solid looking pole in the picture above is a lorry mounted mobile crane. It has lifted up, and is supporting the jib while some fearless worker (only visible here as a sort of dark blob) bolts the jib together.
crane erection 1
crane erection 3
 I've attempted some digital zoom to show the mechanic bolting the jib together, but I just can't get enough detail from the picture. One thing I can be sure of - dangling from a crane is not the job for me !!

Last night I threw caution to the wind and ordered a Chinese takeaway for my person birthday celebrations (even if it was a day early, and a pathetic excuse). I have to say it was all very nice, and I made sure I ordered plenty so that I could have the leftovers for a meal today. I ended up eating what I thought was quite a lot, but I didn't feel stuffed when I went to bed, and I didn't even feel particularly sleepy. I even stayed up reading until almost 11pm.

 I guess I slept well last night. I didn't need to try and force myslef to go to sleep last night. I fell asleep quite naturally, and apart from waking a couple of times for a pee, I continued to sleep until it seemed like a good time to get up - well almost a good time. I did try and get a bit more sleep, but a council dustcart pulled up to a nearby house, and made quite a racket. That was surprising for a Sunday morning, but I think it was a special job. It's only a guess, but someone might have recently vacated the flat or house, and the placed needed special clearance. Anyway, rather than fight the noise, I got up.

 I decided I ought to try and do some chores before doing anything else, and I ended up doing quite a lot of laundry. Hand washing a couple of shirts and some underwear is dead easy with practice. Hand washing bath towels is not so easy, but I did two of them plus three small tablecloths.
laundry on the washing line
 I hung the shirts on a clothes horse, but I hung the towels and tableclothes on the washing line to dry in the warm sunshine. The laundry left me a bit hot and sweaty, but after a short rest I tackled some washing up. I didn't do all the washing up as I intended because I noticed that the sink was filling a tiny bit faster than it was draining. So I washed a couple of plates and all the cutlery before dumping half a bottle of bleach down the plughole. It's not quite as good as drain unblocker, but it will help a lot - particularly if I remember to put more bleach down overnight, and maybe during the day tomorrow.

 My next task was to wash my hair and have a shower. Having got myself nice and clean, and allowing enough time for my hair to get half dry, I put some fresh clothes on, and headed out to the Catford Constitutional Club to meet with Jodie. I can't remember when I agreed to meet her there, probably last Thursday, but it seemed a reasonable idea anyway.  After a while we were joined by Jodie's friend Mark (often known as Arkie).
Jodie and Arkie
 I had a pleasant time drinking, and drunk just enough to tickle the edges of drunkenness, and definitely enough to give me a raging hunger ! The hunger, and the mild tipsyness were for the usual reason - I had gone out on an almost empty stomach again. So once I got home I set about eating my Chinese takeaway leftovers with great gusto. One dish was Singapore rice. It is supposed to be quite hot and spicy, and this one was an excellent example. It had sliced red chillies in it, and had a most agreeable kick to it.

 That brings me up to date. I think I'll be taking it easy for the rest of the evening, but I still have another two days off work. So I don't need to get to bed specially early tonight - although I might do. I have just started yawning when I think about it, and it probably wouldn't be such a bad idea to not allow myself to get too far out of practice of early nights and early mornings. Then tomorrow I can do it all over again - up to a point. I think I'll be seeing Patricia for one more time when she comes here to pick up some stuff, dump other stuff, and maybe throw away some of the stuff that is already here. After that we may end up in the pub, and maybe Kevin might join us again.

 One more picture.....
aluminium barrels
 This is the back entrance of The Catford Constitutional Club, and those are expensive aluminium barrels. During the day, and I think during the night too, the only thing that separates the barrels from the road is about a foot, or maybe two of fresh air. I can't understand how they still find them there is the morning. They must have some sort of scifi defense screen operating or something.
Saturday 21st June 2014
18:43 BST

  It turned out nice yesterday. Perhaps it was just a thing unique to me when I thought it was getting a bit humid as if a storm might have been approaching. Much of the afternoon, and into the evening was partly sunny. The temperature ranged from slightly warm to delighfully fresh - the latter was when I was walking home at 11.30pm last night ! Today has often been sunny, and pleasantly warm (but some way short of being hot - except when standing in the sunshine wearing a black shirt !). The current temperature is just over 24 C, and while there are many clouds in the sky, they are all small fluffy ones. Tomorrow is forecast to start sunny, but by the afternoon it will be cloudy, although the top temperature will be similar to today.

 Yesterday was quite a busy day.  After my household chores in the morning I went to meet both Patricia and Kevin in the local Wetherspoons pub for a drink. We were partly celebrating my birthday (actually tomorrow) and Patricia's birthday.  It was inevitable that with Kevin being there we would stay drinking longer than we should have, and it was on my way to being drunk when we left the pub, and I saw Patricia onto her bus home.
Patricia
  It's not the sharpest picture I've ever taken (!!!!!), but here's Patricia in the London & Rye pub yesterday.

 One of the reasons why I was hovering on the edge of being drunk was that I had eaten very little before going to the pub. To compound the problem I wanted to go out in the evening, and so didn't want to eat much in the late afternoon either. I had a couple of snacks, and I think I had a short snooze before going out. By that time I also had a hangover, and felt rather rough. It took a fair amount of will power to walk down the road to the bus stop. For a while I felt OK, and I enjoyed myself at the gig. There were two bands playing - Night Owl and Contraband - one was good and the other played "country" songs........
Night Owl
 Here's Night Owl - Jo Corteen with guitar on the left, and Dave Griffiths at his electric piano on the right.
Contraband
Contraband with Geoff Paice on the far left playing bass guitar. Patsi Spike O'Shea at the microphone, and Dylan Tidman on drums (and I am unsure of the others names).
 
 The rather odd thing about Contraband is that "country" music is a bit of a departure from their usual styles. Geoff and Patsi both play in the punk band The Bromley Bastards, as well as other rock and hard rock bands. Dylan is a very versatile drummer, but the band he usually plays for is definitely a hard rock band !

 I must confess that I was far more intolerant of "country" music than I thought I might be. It probably was not help by the mild I was drinking that seemed to be sitting poorly on my earlier abused gut. I was beginning to think I might throw up if I drank any more. So I said my good byes and left after three or four songs. Once I was out in the fresh air I began to feel OK, and I felt pretty good as I walked from the bus stop to home in the refreshing night air. It was only five minutes, but it was probably the most enjoyable bit of walking I've done in ages !

 It was approximately 11.30pm when I got home, and the first thing I did was to cook (or to be more accurate - warm up) some dinner. It went down a treat as I watched some stuff on TV. Mostly I watched some Have I Got News For You, and then some QI on Dave, but while the interminable advert breaks came on I switched to BBC2 and watched a fair bit of the film Buster. It seemed to be quite a good film, and I must look out for it being shown again.

 A consequence of watching al that TV was that I didn't get to bed until around 1am. It didn't take me long to get to sleep, and I slept quite well for the first 4 hours, but that took me up to 5am when my body is programmed to get up for work. From then onwards I slept quite intermittently until I just had to get up and prepare for a visit from Aleemah. Fortunately I maned to get the more important bits of the house relatively tidy and clean before she got here (including the toilet which was in a state I would not have been proud of !).

 So once again I was in the pub for another pint of beer while Aleemah had her breakfast in there (not that I am complaining about more beer !). When we came back here afterwards, having gone via the 99p shop where I bought all sorts of stuff that I shouldn't have, we watched a few more episodes of Sea Of Souls - a TV series that was shown by the BBC, and is not quite to my taste, but fairly watchable.

 Aleemah left at 2.30pm, and after that I sort of collapsed, or I wanted to. I did get a small snooze in, but I've been editing photos and I have had a sort of lunch using stuff I bought from the 99p shop. What I had were Rustlers microwaveable burgers. They are pretty horrible, and I am not sure if they are even worth 99p - I believe they are considerably more in supermarkets that are mad enough to stock them. (Tesco currently list a slightly superior burger to the ones I had. They are on special half price offer for a couple of days, but the usual price is 2.20 !).

 I could go to another gig tonight. Kimera, who are rather good, are playing in The William IV pub in Elmers End. It is easy to get to, and easy to get home from. I probably should force myself to go, and I should probably force myself not to do what I really have in mind for tonight. It's my birthday tomorrow, and I feel like treating myself to a naughty Chinese takeway tonight.  I have probably eaten quite enough crap as it is today, but I feel the urge for a Chinese gnawing away at my will power with ever increasing power......
Friday 20th June 2014
12:41 BST

  Yesterday's weather was very unexciting. It was dry and by late afternoon it was close to warm, but too much of the day was rather grey. It was a light grey, and on a few short occasions there was some sunshine, but all too frequently it looked as if it could be building up towards rain. Today is sort of similar. There probably have been a few more sunny spells than yesterday, and maybe the temperature is a a degree higher, perhaps two because it seems to be 24 C right now. It does feel a bit humid and sticky at the moment. Maybe a storm might brew up later on - although the forecast says it will stay dry - and two degrees cooler than it actually is ! So we can trust that then !!

 It was nice not having to go to work yesterday (and the same for this morning), but I don't feel I took that great advantage of it. In fact I am trying to think what I did yesterday. A whole day passed and I don't seem to have anything to show for it.  I guess playing with Patricia's old laptop took a lot longer than I thought it did. She dumped it here over a year ago when she went back to Argentina for the (English) winter. I thought it was in good working order because it didn't feel like much time had passed since I replaced the failing hard disk in it.

 Patricia said it was not in good condition and bought a new laptop last year (or did all this happen 2 years ago ?). Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I decided to give it a look over, and charge the battery up in case she wanted to take it to Argentina when she moves there (possibly permanently this time) at the end of the month. She was right about one thing - the battery in it seems to have completely failed. Not only that but it was riddled with several types of virus and trojans. It is no wonder that it's performance was so bad. I've cleaned it up a lot, but if she is just going to leave it here again I think I'll be installing Linux on it. That with a new battery, should make it a very useable machine - if only I actually used laptops. On the very rare occasion when I need to do some sort of mobile computing I would use my netbook - it would have been handy while I was in hospital.

 Yesterday even was boozing night. The Thursday night gang were drinking in The Ram because a couple of them wanted to keep an eye on the football. I didn't really fancy that, and Jodie, who wanted to join us, certainly was not thrilled with the idea. So I had two pints of Guinness with the guys in The Ram. Jodie turned up there during my second pint, and when we had finished our drinks we went to The Catford Constitutional Club. They had a screen up in the main bar area so people could watch the football, but the side room was quiet and very spacious !
all quiet on the side bar
 Once we had sampled the beers on offer in the CCC - which on this occasion was 4 different ones - a half pint of each - Jodie went to get her train home, and I went back to The Catford Ram. It was beginning to get noisy in there despite still not being very busy. So I had one more pint of Guinness, and headed for home, and some dinner.

 Dinner was "Mr Brains faggots in gravy". I wasn't sure if you could cook them in a microwave, but they seemed to come out OK. Ideally I should have had some pease pudding with them, but I forgot to buy any.  Once I had eaten dinner, and watched a bit of TV, I went to bed. I don't think it was much past 9pm before I was asleep, and sleeping well. If I had to go to work today I would have got up at 4.30am when I woke up feeling not too bad.

 I did get up for a short while, but within an hour I was back in bed asleep. When I woke up a couple of hours later I felt horrible - which isn't as bad as terrible, but it took some time to get the creases out my body and brain. Once I felt able to bend over without passing out (or wanting to pass out) I did a small heap of laundry. Half of it is now hanging outside to dry, and the rest on a clothes horse drying indoors.

 The next major thing I did was to wash my hair and shower, and once my hair was dry enough I went to the corner shop for some diet coke. The next thing on the agenda, once I've finished writing this, is to meet Patricia in The Catford Wetherspoons for a quick birthday drink, and probably to say good bye to her before she goes back to Argentina. The final thing for today is to go to a gig in Bromley tonight, but right now I had better get ready to go to the pub.
Thursday 19th June 2014
09:07 BST

  Maybe yesterday was not as bad as the forecast suggested it might be. It was fairly bright from a little before midday, and it was actually sunny for a fair bit of the afternoon. It didn't get particularly warm, perhaps not much above 20 C, but it did feel quite summery as I made my way home from work. This morning was a bit of a surprise. The sky was bright blue, and the sun was shining. It seems to have clouded over now, but the forecast optimisticly says it will be a fairly nice day with many sunny periods stil to come, and the temperature rising to 21
C.  I'm currently measuring 21.5 C. So it could turn out better than the forecast suggests.

 It felt good to come home from work yesterday. I wasn't feeling too bad, and the weather was nice, but the fact that I have booked some days off, and I won't be back at work until next Wednesday was the greatest reason for joy !  It was an uneventful journey home apart from the problem of trying to decide whether to pick up some groceries in Tesco, or in the Turkish supermarket, or even to order a takeaway for dinner last night. The last option was the most tempting, but not a good idea while I am trying to be careful with my money. (Did I mention that the 145 TV licence renewal reminder has caught me by surprise again for the umpteenth year running ?). In the end I went in the Turkish supermarket where I still ended up spending more than I should have.

 Last nights dinner was another vast assortment of odds and ends, but included a small tin of giant beans in sauce - they are similar to baked beans but in a nicer sauce, and far more chewable ! A very large proportion of what I had for dinner had a very high fibre content. It is supposed to be good for you, but by later today it is not going to be good for anybody near me ! Hopefully it won't interfere with my plans for tonight.

 It seems a definite tradition now, even on days like yesterday when I don't have to get up early the next day, and that is to turn off the TV at 7pm. During the next hour I amused myself with writing an email, and at 8pm, or maybe a little later, I went to bed. I was in no rush to get to sleep, but I am sure I was asleep well before 9pm, and on the whole I think I slept well. I slept for nearly 90 minutes extra before slowly getting up. Curiously enough, I seemed to have started yawning while I think about it.

 There is no real reason why I should not go back to bed even now, but I think there is stuff that I ought to do. I probably ought to go and get a bit of shopping from Tesco, and maybe I could do some laundry. There is a possibility that I will meet Patricia for lunch today, but I think it more likely that will happen tomorrow. There is a great air of definiteness about tonight. I'll be meeting up with the Thursday night gang for a drink. Tonight's drink will be in The Catford Ram because of the football. Sadly, I have just this minute realised the significance of that. I thought it was to avoid the football, but it's the other way round. The Catford Constitutional Club has no TV screens while The Catford Ram does.......bugger !

 The little finger, and ring finger on my left hand are still very sensitive - although fortunately only intermittently. The pain at it's worst is still like the sting of stinging nettle. That may sound bad, and occasionally it is, but it has a good sign, or at least I think it does. I can't be absolutely certain, but I do get the strong impression that under that stinging sensation I am starting to feel fine textures for the first time since my operation.

 The nature of the numbness that once affected almost my whole hand, but has only affected those two fingers (and the side of my hand) for the last six months has definitely changed now, but I can't describe how. The annoying thing is that the speed of change has been so incredibly slow over these last months that I think I am going to have to live with the occasional painful sensations I now get for maybe months...or maybe not. It is possible that this phase might be over quite quickly, after all it did come on extremely quickly, and once it is over I may find my hand back in full working order. That would be rather good.

 On the spur of the moment I have decided to "steal" a picture from Google Streetview.....
199 Perry Vale
 What this picture shows is the junction between Perry Vale and Siddons Road in Forest Hill.  Once upon a time, prior to 1968, the shop front that appears to be bricked up behind the white car was my dads radio and TV repair shop.  The shop on the corner that now  sports the slightly ridiculous name of "Hair Hectik" was always a ladies hairdressers. It looks as if they now use my dads old shop, even if the front is bricked up, and they also seem to have taken over the next shop going up Siddons Road (by those orange barriers). The next shop used to be a cafe when I was (very) young.

 I wonder if the telephone box on the forecourt of the shop is still FORest Hill 7600 (0208 699 7600) ? For a while it was my dads unofficial shop phone ! The forecourt was where the van, originally an Austin 12-4, and latterly a Bedford Dormobile, would be parked up on a Sunday morning to be maintained - with my help - wearing my own boiler suit - aged 12 ? At an even earlier age, much earlier, I would be parked up outside the shop in my pram to get fresh air and sunshine while my mum served behind the counter. On one very rare day I was not outside (maybe I was ill at home). That was the day when there was an explosion in the manhole with the three covers in the foreground of the picture. Under those three covers runs a high voltage electricity cable, and the chances are that water managed to get inside the cables and caused a short. The explosion propelled a chunk of concrete that landed in the exact position that my pram would usually be parked in. Just another of those times when I seem to have cheated death :-)
Wednesday 18th June 2014
09:07 BST

  By yesterday afternoon it was feeling acceptably warm - just over 21 C - but the morning was unpleasantly chilly. So chilly that I had the heater on here at work for the first few hours. While it may have warmed up by mid to late afternoon, it was still very dull outside. It just wasn't a nice day at all...and neither is today ! It started a little less cold, almost 15
C, but it also rained - a bit. When I walked to the station I could feel a sort of mistiness on my face, and there was a fresh damp earth smell. In central London there was some fine drizzle, and exposed surfaces were very wet looking. As I walked from the station to work it was wet underfoot, but the rain had all but stopped. Much of the sky is littered with dirty grey clouds, but there are some lighter coloured clouds too. On rare occasions a little chink of blue can be seen, but the forecast is just for more grey clouds, and maybe some more light drizzle. The temperature should reach, and may exceed 20 C by later afternoon.

 Going home from work did not bring any joy, no matter how small, like it did yesterday. I didn't do any interesting financial transactions, and I didn't see any policemen with guns, but I did see this -
Hearing dogs for the deaf
 Simple (soaps ?) still had their display on the usual spot for displays on the concourse of Waterloo station, but further up the concourse Hearing Dogs For The Deaf had set up shop. My photo doesn't show it, but I think they were getting just as much interest as Simple were, and maybe more.

 There was one other thing I did on the way home (and on the way to work this morning), and that was to practice my breathing. It feels sort of weird to consciously take the occasional deep breath while walking. It's not too dissimilar to letting out a big sigh, but it does seem to work. It reduces the need to take rapid shallow breaths. At the moment it is difficult to do, but I can only assume that if I persevere I will eventually recover my proper lung capacity, and the usual automatic control of breathing will take over. It's any bodies guess how long that will take. It feels like it could take months or even years, but it could be as little as a couple of weeks. I think it will be one of those things where it feels like nothing is changing, and then you suddenly realise it has ! I'm hoping for another example of that soon.

  I had planned a semi healthy dinner for last night. It was going to be grilled steak and salad, but the salad was a bowl of ready mixed salad, and it looked well past it's use before date. I don't know if it actually was past any set date, but it was very obvious that it was starting to wilt badly with lots of liquid swilling about in the bottom of the bowl. I still had the steak, but I had to improvise a faux salad, which wasn't really a salad at all, to go with it. On top of that I had far, far too many sugary biscuits as a sort of dessert.

 I expected to suffer the consequences this morning, but although I felt terrible, I don't think I can blame it on last night's dinner. Maybe I slept too well, but that seems unlikely. I was in bed soon after 8pm, and while I didn't think it would ever happen, I was fast asleep very soon after. For most of the night I slept under my duvet. Maybe that overheated me or something. I was having some vivid dreams about robots, cats, and my late mum during the night. They seemed to go on forever, but probably didn't. I finally gave up sleeping, or trying to sleep at 4.30am.

 As I lay in bed I felt fine, but as soon as I tried to move I felt horrible, really horrible. I wondered how I would ever get to work, or even if I should try, but as time passed I began to feel better. It is hard to describe just how and what "really horrible means". It was as if everything gently ached from my toes up to my brain. It didn't just hurt up and down, but sideways and forward and back too ! By the time I had to leave to get my train it had all settled down to just stiff legs and one other thing.

 That other thing was actually quite painful, but a source of hope. For completely unknown reasons it seems I might be having a development to the numbness that has plagued half my left hand since awakening after my operation. Suddenly, out of the blue, with no obvious trigger that I could discern, my left ring finger, and the little finger next to it, felt like they had been brushed with a nettle. Similar, although rather less drastic sensations have heralded some sort of change for the better in the type or range of the numbness of my left hand - at least I think they have. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that as the damaged nerves regenerate they start sending out spurious signals.

 The acuteness of the sensation had died down a little now, and I think that there is a just detectable change in the sensation of feeling in those two fingers. I probably won't really know if it is a good improvement until some time has passed. The changes now seem so gradual that I have to think of changes over months rather than days or hours. It was only very recently that I realised that I now have just about full motor control of all the fingers on my left hand. It must have been a good couple of months ago that I realised that I had partial control back, and then nothing seemed to happen. Now I can almost do the Vulcan "live long and prosper" salute without any trouble (but not as well as I can do with my right hand). I had almost given up hoping that the nerve damage affecting my left hand would ever heal without surgical intervention, but maybe something is happening again (fingers crossed !)

 Today sees my last day at work until next Wednesday. I've booked four days off work, and there is the weekend in the middle of those 4 days - giving me  6 days away from work in all. It is a shame that my finances are a bit limited at the moment (unless I am stupid and/or dip into my saving), and so I can't get up to anything too wild for the next 6 days. This has been made worse by the always forgotten bloody TV licence. I had the reminder about it yesterday, and that's another 145 I have to shell out before the end of the month. Maybe it is fortunate that the weather for the next 3 or 4 days looks pretty awful. I can spend all those days in bed - that will be cheap enough - although I think I am going to have to get very drunk on at least one occasion before the weekend is out !!
Tuesday 17th June 2014
08:32 BST

  I think the best way to sum up yesterday's weather is just to use the word "horrible". Well, maybe it wasn't a cold, dark, slushy winters day type of horrible, but it was not that bright, and it was not that warm ! Today is supposed to be quite sunny, and there are tantalising patches of blue in the sky where the clouds are quite well broken up. It is also expected to be warmer, but only 20 C, and that barely feels warm enough to bother getting out of bed for ! At least it should stay dry, but I'm not sure if I trust that prediction any more than any of the others.

 I felt horrible and sleepy at work yesterday, but I felt much better while going home. In fact there were occasions when I felt quite good. One of them was just the simple fact that I topped up my Oystercard using my credit card. I usually use my debit card, but with the prospect of my current account getting a little thin by the end of the month, and the possibility that I might want to do a bit of travelling by train in the near future, I thought I would try my credit card. The real significance of it was that it was the first time I've used the card when I have needed to enter my pin number. Since I got my current card, perhaps 3 or 4 years ago, I have only used it for ordering stuff on the internet. So it was quite pleasing to finally test that I had remembered my pin number correctly.

 Other stuff that made me feel good (or some semblance to it) was a bit of photography - not grand portraits, but simple images snatched while on the run (figuratively speaking).
Compeed
 This was the follow up to the picture taken in the morning, and shows just what a simple set-up "Compeed" used to show off their wares (whatever they actually were). I don't know if the girls were handing out free samples or just leaflets.
The fuzz !
 I took this picture from as far away as possible - maybe too far away because it is not obvious in this picture that the three coppers are holding big guns ! I've watched too many episodes of Blake's 7 to dare let them see me taking a photo.
The scary lady
 This was another picture that I didn't want to be observed taking. This woman both fascinates and terrifies me. She is very old school punk with her outlandish eye makeup, black (or almost black) lipstick, pierced lip, dyed red hair (much redder than the picture shows), and even the spiky rucksack she wears. I see her getting on the same train as me at Waterloo East fairly frequently, and at one point I thought she got off at Catford Bridge, but I'm not so sure now. The one thing I did learn yesterday, and it was possibly the reason why I decided to take a chance on a shifty photograph, was that her phone uses the sound of The Tardis landing as a ringtone. She looks like she eats kittens for lunch, but I bet she has a couple of kittens at home that she really adores.

 Once I sat down at home I began to feel quite cool. I am unsure what the outside temperature was, but I think it was 20 C, and while that may be fine for walking around it, it starts to feel a bit chilly when just sitting still. That inspired me to put the duvet back in the duvet cover on my bed, and I am rather glad I did. I was in bed not too long after 8pm last night. It took longer to get to sleep than I imagined it would, and that main reason for that was that my brain would not shut up. It is possible that may have been a good thing.

 The other reason was the usual one of trying to find a good compromise between feeling too cool with the duvet half off, and too warm with the duvet fully on. It may have been like that initially, but for most of the night I was most definitely fully under the duvet. It felt really cool, or cold as we usually call it, when I got up this morning, and despite it being "flaming" June, I had to put the heater on to stop myself shivering ! So much for global warming ! The quicker we start building more coal fired power stations the better !

 One of the ideas that was buzzing around my head as I lay in bed last night was about my breathing. There is usually nothing worse than being aware of your own breathing while trying to sleep, but in this case I was actually bringing together some stray thoughts from earlier on. One of my ongoing annoyances since my operation last year is that I still have difficulty trying to find any enjoyment in walking. It always feels like hard work, and one indicator of this is that I don't have to walk far before I am short of breath.

 It's a very special sort of shortness of breath. I am not actually gasping for air, and it doesn't slow me down (not that I seem to be able to walk as fast as I think I ought to be able these days). It occurred to me last night that the reason why it is different to normal breathlessness is that I am just taking very shallow breathes very rapidly. I think I have forgotten how to take deep breathes. In the first months after  my operation it could actually be painful to take a deep breath because my chest muscles were all bruised and "mutilated" after the operation. For the first month or two I spent much of my time laying on my bed recuperating, and I didn't need to take any deep breaths.

 I suspect that I allowed all my chest muscles to atrophy in those early months, and I've done nothing to try and reverse the effect. It explain why all the wonderous affects that I had been promised (I think) from not smoking failed to materialised. It would explain why I seem more breathless now than when I was a very heavy smoker (and I wasn't all that breathless even then). There are occasions, such as when I do take a slightly deeper breath, and then force it out to blow my nose, when it does cause some pain in my chest. So I guess I've got to take it a bit easy, but I have done some experiments to breath deeper and less often when walking, and despite it feeling bloody weird, it does seem to work. I have no idea how long it will take to relearn how to breath, and to do it without thinking about it, but maybe I have found one of the missing pieces of the jigsaw as I try to put my life and body back together after that operation. The strange thing is that no one ever warned me about it before, and I had to invent my own cure - if indeed my theory is correct, and it is a cure. Time will tell !
Monday 16th June 2014
08:21 BST

  The only trouble with yesterday's weather is that it looked more like autumn than summer, and sometimes felt like autumn too. Maybe I am just too optimistic about how the weather should be for mid June. The weather forecasters tell me that it's all about average for this time of year, but it seems too cool, and too overcast to me. Today is supposed to be similar to yesterday. There may be very little sunshine, or maybe non at all, and the temperature is going to feel quite fresh rather than warm. I've known better days in April !

 Yesterday afternoon I lay on my bed, and I think I slept for a while, but I've no idea if it was 5 minutes or several hours. At least some of the time I was very awake as I listened to a recording of a radio play called "Rules Of Asylum" by James Follett. The curious thing I have just learned about this radio play is that The BBC originally wiped it, but James Follett, the author, kept a copy of it that he had recorded of it's original FM broadcast. BBC Radio 7 rebroadcast it on DAB from that copy in 2004, and I recorded that. It has been rebroadcast again more recently on BBC 4 Extra, but it seems it is unavailable for playback on demand here. It's almost as if someone, somewhere does not want to remind people that dictatorships often cite mental problems for people who oppose their ideology, and lock them away in asylums. Don't tell me we have started doing that again !

 I have already mentioned my own insanity regarding chocolate yesterday, and how it felt really strange that after eating some it felt like I had eaten all I needed....and that was a thing I didn't really mention yesterday. It did seem like my body needed some chocolate, but not much, for some unexplainable reason. I tend not to question my body when it comes to things like this. There are many occasions when I get a strong desire for something purely out of the blue - or so it seems to me. Sometimes it can be something healthy like a particular fruit, and sometimes something much more perplexing. I usually end up buying and consuming what ever it is my body seems to desire, and on the whole it seems to work. I may have needed a bit of heart re-plumbing last year, and I may feel fairly ill quite frequently these days, but there seems to be more and more people dying at a younger age then me now.

 Quite whether I'll make it to the estimate on the price tag, the famous three score and ten, is debatable, but I suppose it might be possible. It's only a year and a couple of days until I've made the three score part, and I do seem to heal quite well still. After a lousy night of tossing and turning I felt 97.68% dead when I woke up, and now, due to my rapid healing, I only feel like 43.77% dead. I managed to make it all the way here to work, and more than that, I managed to breathe all the way here. I may stop breathing to have a rest once I've finished writing this, but I'll try and remember to start again when I go home tonight.

 I feel a terrible sense of impending depression. I have booked Thursday and Friday off work this week. It was based upon an earlier assumption that it would be bright and warm, and that I would be feeling ridiculously healthy. It is very hard to imagine that either case will be true when Thursday arrives. I was hoping that I would go and visit the seaside again, and perhaps spend a little longer there. Maybe I might make it, but if either of those two days is like today, I will just be spending the morning under the duvet - and last night there were times when it felt cool enough to redeploy the duvet on my bed. I spent last night just under the duvet cover again, and although I felt too hot under it at the beginning of the night, I did feel rather cool this morning.

 Center Parcs seemed to have their stands on Waterloo station concourse set up all week. This morning there are new occupants on the concourse. I think they are the foot care people Compeed (and apparently nothing to do with peeing !). Maybe I will be able to get a more meaningful photograph on my way home, but for now all I can offer is this blurry masterpiece of them setting up.....
Compeed
Sunday 15th June 2014
14:46 BST

  On the whole, the weather yesterday was not that good. It wasn't actually offensive, but it gave absolutely zero inspiration. It's a shame than that today's weather is even worse !
weather
 As you can see from this screenshot of the weather forecast for today, it's going to be cool and very dull until 8pm tonight when, an hour or so before the sun sets, it may brighten up a bit. I'm actually measuring the temperature to be one degree higher than the forecast, and this may not be so surprising. The forecast is supposed to be specifically for the London borough of Lewisham, of which Catford is a part, and yet the text that accompanies the forecast says some strange things. "Early cloud will tend to break up in the morning, then good sunny spells and feeling warm in light winds. A brisk onshore breeze will keep it cooler and perhaps cloudier on the Kent coast." All the icons on this forecast screenshot don't seem to suggest broken cloud and sunny spells to me, and Lewisham has no coastline where onshore breezes might come from. Never mind, it gives the approximate flavour of the weather, and if the sun had not just broken through the cloud as I wrote "never mind" I would have agreed that it was basically correct. Maybe the symbol of the black cloud at 15:00 actually means sunny spells.........

 I felt very tired yesterday, and yet somehow that didn't seem to stop me watching TV until midnight last night. Maybe I was suffering more from ennui rather than real tiredness. I suppose once you have it it is difficult to tell one from the other. Maybe the test is to experience something that stimulates you, and see if the feeling goes away. If that is correct then it was just indulgent listlessness. Maybe.

 Having got to bed at just gone midnight I hoped I would sleep like a log. For some of the night I did, but it was hard to find a balance between feeling too hot or too cold. Several times I woke up with my pillow damp from sweat, and yet I didn't think it should have felt that hot with only a duvet less duvet cover over me. Maybe it was a sort of fever or something. I could even believe it was imminent organ failure, and premature death. Anything is possible in an infinite universe.

 I guess it was around 8am when I gave up trying to sleep more, and I slowly started to get up. I felt amazingly creaky for the first 49 seconds after I got out of bed, but by the time I had gone to the toilet I just felt as crap as I do most mornings. I presume it is one of the signs of old age because I am sure I can remember days when I would leap out of bed ready to take on the whole world in a matter of seconds after first opening my eyes. It never seems to happen these days.

 I did wonder how I would ever find the energy, and the muscular dexterity to do some laundry this morning. It was not all that long after I had got out of bed, and when I was trying to find the muscular dexterity to walk in the right direction to the toilet using the floor instead of the walls or ceiling.  Somehow some sort of muscular memory came into play, and I was able to wash 5 shirts with little difficulty, and without too much pain.

 Perhaps that inspired me, or maybe I had just forgotten to slump in the corner like a spent corpse, but I decided to go for a quick walk to the 99p shop before I collapsed in continued ennui. Going to the 99p shop is always dangerous, and on this occasion it was intended to be dangerous. I had a yearning for some chocolate, and I was determined I was going to get some. What was ultimately interesting is that having bought some (plus some far more innocent items like shower gel) I found I really only wanted a bit of it. That has never happened before. It was a bit of a shock on par with suddenly suffering from erectile dysfunction (or some other fancy name for brewers droop or similar male tragedies).

 This is all a bit weird. Another weird thing that I can't remember if I've already mentioned, is that I don't seem to be getting that urge to have a fag for dessert after eating dinner recently, or at least not such a strong urge. I think there have been a couple of dinners recently where I've stopped eating what I would have considered prematurely without a cigarette. It almost feels like I am be being primed for some heavy dieting, and yet as my desire for chocolate today would suggest, I don't feel like dieting at the moment despite desperately needing to.

 This afternoon I feel very tired again......but maybe not actually sleepy. I feel sort of, but maybe not actually weak, and I have a feeling of pressure that is almost like a headache above the bridge of my nose. That makes me want to lay down with my eyes closed, and it won't be long now until I do just that. Once I am doing it I may as well go to sleep, because there is nothing else to do.
My dad
 Yesterday I made mention of fathers day. I am still unsure if it is today or next Sunday. Fortunately it doesn't matter because my dad snuffed it in 1968. On the left is the only picture I have of him. Rather than a Star Wars Onesie, which I feel sure he would hate with all the venom with which I hate it, his preferred attire was a white lab coat/shop coat, and a fag. Curiously it looks like a ready made fag in this picture instead of the Old Holborn roll up I always remember him smoking.

 The picture on the left was taken in his shop which used to be situated at 199 Perry Vale, Forest Hill. It started out as a bicycle shop, but quickly added, and then changed to accumulator charging, radio repair, and ultimately TV repair. It was, of course, during working hours in the shop that he would wear the white shop coat. Outside of working hours I probably remember him more in a boiler suit when doing maintenance on the family/business van. Along with a boiler suit he would also wear a beret (or titfer, as he usually called it). After all these years I have no way of ever finding out the truth, but I wonder if the beret originated from his years with the RAF as a technical expert on radar, and radio mechanic (and possibly plane mechanic too).
Saturday 14th June 2014
18:30 BST

  The weather forecaster for yesterday was needlessly pessimistic. It was brighter, sunnier, and warmer than expected. I forgot to make a note of the temperature when I got home from work, but a few hours later it was still nearly 25 C, and I would not be surprised if it wasn't a degree or two higher mid afternoon. I think the weather forecast for today was probably quite close to being correct.  There have only been a few short periods when the sun has shined, and several much longer periods when it has looked as if it might rain at any moment. Nevertheless it has stayed dry, and the temperature has stayed high enough to be comfortable. The current temperature is almost 22
C, and it's probably been that for much of the day. The most up to date forecast for tomorrow is that it will be very similar to today - except that the top temperature is going to be a very disappointing 19 C !

 I'm very glad I had no plans to go out last night because I felt totally drained when I got home from work. I don't recall feeling  particularly tired at work, and I didn't seem to call on any special reserves of energy when I made my way home from work, but once I got indoors I sort of collapsed. Not literally collapsed, but it did seem hard work to do anything apart from  breathing, and I wondered if even that was necessary ! In theory I was in a prime state to go to bed extra early, and sleep like a log, but it didn't happen like that.

 There were two things that interfered with my sleep. The first think is that it was very muggy last night. So I felt very sticky and horrible in bed. The second thing was that there was a full moon last night, and I wanted to try and take a photograph of it. So I set up my camera on my tripod so I could try and get an extra sharp image, and with that set up ready I went to bed. It was still broad daylight when I went to bed, and the plan was that I would go straight to sleep. Th next part of plan was the assumption that after a few hours, perhaps around midnight, I would wake up for a pee, have that pee, pull on a few clothes, and then go outside to get that snapshot.

 It never worked out like that. Not at all ! I felt so sweaty that it was dark before I fell asleep. I did wake up about an hour later, but not because I wanted a pee. I took a look out the window just in time to see some cloud drift across the face of the moon. The cloud was very patchy, and there was an excellent chance that I could get a clear shot if I waited a bit, but there was another problem. The moon was so low in the sky that it would be hidden behind the rooftops when viewed from ground level. I decided I might have a better chance at 3 or 4am when the moon had moved into a more favourable position.

 Eventually I got back to sleep, but my sleep was very poor, and it felt like I was waking up at least once an hour. Maybe that could have been useful for moon spotting, but the cloud had thickened up, and I saw no sign at all of the moon in the early hours. My sleep continued to be on and off until at 6.30am I decided I might as well try and get up to do a bit of tidying up in preparation for a visit from Aleemah today.

 It was nice to have a quick beer (two half pints) while Aleemah had her breakfast, and it was handy to get some shopping in when we passed Aldi on the way back from the pub, but it wasn't quite so nice to watch the DVD that Aleemah had brought to watch. It is the first series of Sea Of Souls, originally shown on one of the BBC channels before being released on DVD. I guess I have nothing against the series, but I don't find it very gripping. For instance I can barely remember anything about the two episode story we watched a fortnight ago. Maybe the two episode story we watched today was a bit more interesting, but....

 It's been several hours since Aleemah went home now. I've had some dinner, and now my useless sleep last night seems to be catching up on me very fast. Once again I can say I am fortunate that I had no plans to go out tonight. I'm not sure if I will actually be attempting to go to sleep while it is still broad daylight, but I definitely won't be doing one of the things I thought I might do today - laundry !

 I have no idea when it is, and to be honest I don't really care, but looming up on us is Fathers Day, and all the shops are pathetically falling over themselves in an attempt to see fathers day gift. I always thought was that fathers day was the day when kids were let out of their cages, and allowed to see their fathers for a few minutes provided they kept quiet, but apparently that is not the case. One particular advert caught my eye because of the sheer hellishness of it. If I was unfortunate enough to be a father, and some snotty nosed little brat, perhaps in collusion with it's mother, had bought me anything from this advert I would have to kill someone. If it was the item from the top left of the picture I feel it would have to be a particularly sadistic killing !
reasons for murder part 1
Friday 13th June 2014
08:09 BST

  The weather forecasters were reluctant to commit to print a guess that the highest temperature for yesterday could be any better than 24 C, but one was heard to comment that it might be as high as 28
C, and he wins the prize for getting it correct (assuming he was talking about Catford - other places may have been cooler). It was a rather glorious day yesterday - warm and dry !
Earlsfield station in the sunshine
 This is Earlsfield station just before 4pm yesterday. It shows the sky was blue, and the thin scattering of white fluffy clouds, but fails to show just how bright it was, and how warm it was. It also fails to show the very reason I took the photo, but I'll explain that soon.

 It seems that today will not be as warm, and it will not be as sunny. It is bright and sunny now, but this afternoon the sky will turn from blue to white as thin milky coloured clouds make the sunshine hazy, or even block it completely. It is supposed to stay dry, and the temperature could get as high as 23 or 24
C, but no more........or if it does get higher I have a theory that it will get terribly muggy. Maybe it will anyway.

 Yesterday's heat seemed to take it's toll on the railways. Luckily I was hardly affected by it, but I can imagine some were cursing about it. Some sort of failure (train or signal ?) somewhere down the line to the south of Earlsfield resulted in some big delays and some cancellations as I was heading for home. The picture I took above, was supposed to show how crowded the platform was, but completely fails to. On a good day I can get to the station for the 15:47 train, but the 15:50 train is the one I get more frequently. Last night I was at the station in time to get the 15:47, but it was running late, and the 15:50 was cancelled.

 The 15:47 turned up almost 10 minutes late. That was a long wait at Earlsfield where the trains are usually every 3 or 4 minutes, but a very small wait compared to Waterloo East where the trains are rarely more frequent than every 20 minutes during the rush hour, and every 30 minutes off peak. So I was not too bothered about it, and it got me to Waterloo in time for my 16:23 train from Waterloo East station.

 That train left on time, but surprised me by pulling into platform 5 at London Bridge instead of platform 4. A few enquiries revealed that there was a big signalling problem at Cannon Street station, and all sorts of weird things were happening because of that. The only knock on affect that affected me was an extended wait for a signal to clear to leave the mainline at the end of the Ladywell loop. That was caused by the amount of trains that were stacking up as the tried to head into London where three platforms were out of service at Cannon Street station.

 I don't think I arrived home any more than a minute or two late. To tell the truth I was hardly aware of the time. I had other things on my mind. Yesterday morning my feet were slightly swollen, and to make things a little more comfortable I decided to take a chance and not wear any socks. I have many pairs of trainers that are perfectly comfortable to wear without socks - at least for short visits to nearby places like the local pubs or shops. It seems that my pine green Converse trainers are an exception to this rule.

 Soon after I put them on in the morning I was aware that all was not well, but for most of the morning it was little more than a mild irritation. By the afternoon things were heading towards painful, and on a few, but thankfully brief occasions, were very painful. When I got home and had a chance to examine my feet I found quite a lot of skin had been worn off just one toe - the one next to the little toe on my left foot.

 Once I took my trainers off any discomfort soon went, and this morning I had forgotten about the damage until I had my morning shower. I'm not sure why, but the warm water soon had the wound really stinging ! The toe was still stinging a bit when I put on a nice new pair of socks. I must have had some sort of mystical foresight because I recently bought some brand new socks that incoporate bamboo fibre, and that allegedly has antimicrobial properties - just the sort of thing to dress an open wound. A combination of those socks, and completely different trainers have left my poor toe feeling very comfortable. It is just a bit of a shame that these trainers are uncomfortable (although not actually damaging) to walk in for completely different reasons.

 I made a profound observation last night. For the first time in 10 months (maybe) I didn't crave a cigarette after I had my dinner. If I was able to capitalise on this in the way I should, it could make a huge difference to my eating habits. It is possibly that the first effects are even detectable with the aid of a big microscope on reality. I still ate too much last night, but it was a lesser too much because I wasn't looking towards a cigarette to act as a full stop at the end of my meal. At least I don't think I was. I'll have to try and gently sidle up to this so as not to alarm myself, and see if I can improve on it in the coming weeks. It is not beyond belief that I could even get back to having just a simple bowl of salad, and nothing else all evening for dinner. That grew to be very easy while I was smoking, and it was what allowed me to lose a couple of inches around my waist just before my operation last September. It would be nice to be able to do it again.

 I very nearly had a very early night, last night. I first lay on my bed at 8pm. It was warm in my room, but not too warm, and the fan helped keep the air moving. So I lay on my bed, and I think I could have gone to sleep quite quickly if it were but for one little thing. A little discomfort convinced me to get up again and go to the toilet. Nothing much happened so I went back to my bed feeling even more uncomfortable. So it was back to the toilet again. I knew something had to happen, but it became boring waiting for it. Eventually my mind drifted, and I started thinking about some places I could possible go to when I take a few days off work next week. My money is a bit short this month, and if I were to travel any distance, say to Lowestoft, or somewhere near there, it might be more useful to buy my ticket on my credit card. As soon as I thought about that, and in particular about having to pay my credit card bill, a thing I irrationally hate doing, my bowels opened, and all hell let loose ! It truly is amazing the effect a credit card bill can have on me ! Soon after I was able to go back to my bed, and sleep comfortably until morning.

 I got up stupidly early again this morning - about 4.30am. I have no idea why my brain should think that I have had enough sleep by then when I have to fight to stay awake during the day afterwards, but it happens, and it is usually impossible to get back to sleep just for 30 minutes or less. I don't actually feel too bad this morning. My main complaint would be that my legs feel like lead. Some of that feeling derives from the trainers I am wearing. They are loose and slightly spongy feeling. It makes walking faster than a very slow amble seem uncomfortable somehow. They are very comfortable while I am just sitting down. So I'll be perfectly fine until I go home again now, and then it will be like trying to sprint in carpet slippers !

 I have no plans for tonight. There was the option of booze last night, but it would have involved a bit of a walk, and I just wanted to get home and get those trainers off (although some excessive amounts of alcohol would have deadened the pain a bit). There are no options for booze tonight - at least none that I know of ( I do know of one gig, but I don't think I would enjoy it). So maybe I'll just try for an early night again. Tomorrow will bring plenty of stuff to do.

 Just remembered - there is one thing I might do tonight. I've read that there is a full moon tonight. If the sky is not cloudy I might try and take a few pictures of it - perhaps I might even dig a tripod out for extra protection against camera shake.
Thursday 12th June 2014
08:07 BST

  The temperature did not get as high as expected yesterday. The highest I saw was just 21 C, but it is possible that in some places it was a degree warmer. The reason was because there was less direct sunshine than there should have been. It was a nice bright day, but frequent incursions of thin cloud in the sky meant that the sunshine was often very hazy. Despite those shortfalls I w
ould say that yesterday was still rather nice, and there is hope that today will be even nicer. It doesn't seem to be in the printed forecast, but the forecaster on TV last night did suggest that London could see the temperature hit 27 C if the sun can shine bright and long enough. The printed estimation puts today's high temperature at 24 C.

 It's Thursday morning, the traditional morning where I am at my lowest ebb after working three
consecutive days of the week, and yet this morning I feel rather good when compared with the average. I would hope to feel at least 5 times better than this, but for a Thursday morning it is quite good. I have some of the usual aches and pains that make coming to work feel like a punishment from a particularly sadistic judge, but maybe I'll only have to put up with that for another year now.

 I don't recall feeling any great feelings when I went home from work yesterday, but I also didn't feel any great negative feelings. I guess that meant I felt comfortable to go home via Tesco. On reflection, maybe I did have a few positive feelings because I did seem fairly selective about what I bought, and that subsequently meant that I almost ate healthily last night. If it hadn't been for the chicken buffalo wings, warmed up in the microwave, I could almost stretch the definition of healthy to encompass what I did eat. I was a bit worried by one particular thing - watercress ! I ate a whole bag of it. I know it contains much that is good for you, and has no fat and practically no calories, but I had this funny feeling that it might have diuretic qualities, and I would spend half the night peeing. That never came to pass, and so far I have had no negative effects from it.

 Last night was cool enough that I had no trouble sleeping, and I think I may have almost slept quite well. The one thing that threatened to spoil it was that at some time in the early hours I woke up with the beginnings of cramp in my right calve muscle. I managed to hop out of bed and put some weight on my leg before the muscle completely seized, and so avoided the agony of full cramp. It didn't take long to get to sleep after that, but I could still feel some stiffness from that calve muscle as I walked to the station.
home to the station timing
 I seemed to have become obsessed with timing how long it takes me to walk to various places. This is mostly to prove to myself that I am barely able to walk anywhere since my operation. The only trouble is that I keep proving otherwise !

 This morning it was the walk from home to the station. For a long time (many years) I have always worked on the assumption that it takes 6 minutes to walk to or from the station. This morning I walked as fast as I could continually walk. I could have put on short bursts of extra speed, but I did the fastest steady pace I could, and it still felt like hard work. I wasn't panting when I got to the station, but I was breathing quite heavily. It felt hopelessly slow, and yet the time on the stop watch on my phone said I had done it in 5 minutes and 36 seconds !

 That was the time from my my first step away from my front door until I arrived on platform 2 of the station. It included touching in with my oyster card (which probably accounts for the 23/100ths of a second). I still had to pick up my copy of The Metro newspaper, walk down the platform to the footbridge, and then cross over to platform 1 for a London bound train - that is extra time that I subconsciously factor in when timing my exit from home, but doesn't count as part of the basic home to station timing. I usually allow a good 15 minutes between leaving home and getting on the train.

 It is becoming increasingly obvious that I am walking just as fast as I used to, but I have no idea why it should feel so bloody slow, and seem to take such a huge effort. Presumably, if I was to work out some way of actually walking slowly, and overcome the raging feeling of impatience of not getting to my destination faster and faster, I could possibly enjoy walking again, but that may just be too many hurdles to overcome.

 Coming up in the near future is this world cup thing that is slowly taking over the news in a way that made the news coverage of WW2 seem rather peripheral and unnewsworthy. I don't really know much about it, but we are having a sweepstake at work about it. I'm no gambler, but it seems the chance to win 18 for an investment of 2 seems reasonable. So I put my hand in the two hats and picked out two teams. There were two hats because the teams were split into those with a chance of winning, and those that have little chance of winning. Everyone got one of each. I got Ghana as my no hope team, and Chile as a team that has a chance of winning - although some people here suggest otherwise !
Ghana of Chile ?
Wednesday 11th June 2014
08:08 BST

  Yesterday only reached 21 C (maybe if I was feeling generous I could stretch to 22
C), but it was still a nice day. From time to time the sun was hidden behind some very light cloud, but overall it was bright and shiny ! Today should be a slightly warmer, and sunnier version of yesterday. It felt slightly cool when I walked to the station, but it wasn't bad. The sky is almost pure blue with just a few bits of wispy white clouds drifting across the sky. It definitely looks set for a pleasant summers day, and (fingers crossed) this is just the start of a good run of days. Tomorrow is forecast to actually get hot - 26 C !

 I moaned about it a lot in the morning, but I guess I didn't feel all that terrible yesterday. That's not to say that I felt good or wonderful at any time. I didn't, and there were times when I definitely felt under par. It was definitely nice to be heading home after work, and yet the actual heading home was not so good. I was OK provided I took it easy, but I didn't seem to have any reserves left. I think that was what was (and is) most annoying. I much prefer to push myself, to walk a little faster, etc, but I was only comfortable at what seemed like merely plodding along. There is a possible flaw in the argument that I shall explain later, and I shall also attempt to find a better word than flaw, because I don't think that is what I mean - although it is in roughly the same area !

 I did debate whether to get in a bit of shopping last night, but decided against it. I still have a fair selection of food at home, although I did have to dig into stuff from the freezer for my dinner yesterday. I had some well grilled garlic flavoured beefburgers as the core of my dinner. After a good long time in the electric grill they seemed to give up a lot of their fat without shrivelling to nothing. I originally planned to have them with some steamed vegetables, but an error of judgement meant the burgers were cooked long before the vegetables had steamed sufficiently.

 So I had the burgers with some sun dried tomatoes. The tomatoes were in oil, and that meant part one of my dinner was a long way from fat free, but at least there may have been  some salvation in that it was plant oil rather than animal fat - much better for the arteries (maybe), but sadly just as many calories. Part two of my dinner was the steamed mixed vegetables, and I zapped them up a bit by pouring chilli oil on them. The chilli oil I used was of a type I haven't seen in the shops for ages until recently. It is a Chinese recipe (sort of), and it consists of ground up dried chillies and ground up dried prawns, plus maybe some other stuff, in (in this case) rapeseed oil. It provides some mild heat, and a sort of grilled flavour, and made those plain mixed vegetable taste really rather good. Shame about all that extra oil I consumed !

 To make matters worse I had a snack of some dry bread and cheese a little while after after my dinner, and shortly before I went to bed. I was in bed by 8pm, but it was to do some reading than feeling knackered (although I definitely felt like laying down). I was coming to the end of my book and decided to read on until I had finished it. That happened conveniently at about 10pm. I put the book down, turned out the lights, and I think I was asleep in minutes. I slept well too, although I did end up getting up half an hour before I needed to.

 I guess it was handy having a bit of extra time in the morning because I wanted to wash my hair. In these warm days it doesn't take long for my hair to start feeling sweaty and greasy, but this morning it is clean and fluffy ! A nice shower and clean hair normally makes me feel pretty good. This morning the act of shampooing and showering left me feeling knackered, and I would much have preferred to have gone back to bed, but I had to come to work. Although I would love to feel an awful lot better, I guess I don't feel too terrible this morning.

 One measure of how well I am, although I haven't discovered the correlation to how I feel, is how much my feet, ankles, and calves are swollen, and this morning they are swollen a good bit less than the worst. That may have influenced me in my choice of shoe this morning....
 bright orange Vans trainers
...I decided to wear my bright orange trainers. With a few exceptions, most of my shoes/boots/trainers are either comfortable to wear, or comfortable to walk in, and these come under the category of comfortable to wear. Sitting here in my office I am barely aware that I have them on, but I was acutely aware of them while walking on my way to work. They are not specifically painful to walk in, but they don't inspire me to try and break through the chains that bind me to walking at just plodding along speeds - which is all I seem to be able to manage these days....or do I ?

 Out of curiosity I decided to time how long it took to walk from the mini supermarket that is about 150ft from the station to work. It's been ages since I last timed it - probably the year before last when I was possibly in rather good health - and I think I probably did it in the other direction. If I remember it correctly, it used to take between 9 and 10 minutes from work to the station, and the 10 minutes probably included the time it took to get up to the platform. So I reckoned it would probably take me at least 10 minutes to walk from the mini supermarket in shoes that aren't good for walking, and feeling like I have no energy or lung power since my operation. It actually took 8 minutes, 11 seconds, and 78 hundredths of a second. I think we can safely ignore the 78/100ths, but 8 minutes and 11 seconds comes as a bit of a shock to me. That is a good minute faster than my wildest imagination would ever have come up with. Maybe I am not as crocked as I like to think I am.....but I still wish I could do it even faster !

 I think that tonight I will probably get some shopping in. I have to do it at some time, and there is a fair chance I'll be boozing tomorrow night. So I might as well try and get it done tonight. Maybe, just maybe, if the shock of realising I am walking faster than I thought can keep reverberating through me until I am actually in the supermarket (probably Tesco), I might be inspired to be just a little more selective, in a sort of healthy direction, about what I buy in there. Shame really, because I'd love some ice cream - any flavour would do, but a re-occuring thought suggests that what I really want is raspberry ripple !
Tuesday 10th June 2014
08:11 BST

  On the whole, the weather forecast for yesterday was completely wrong ! The morning was far sunnier than it was supposed to be, and the sunshine, apart from a few brief cloudy spells, continued into the afternoon. The rain that was forecast did eventually happen at about 6pm - about 5 hours late ! It was not very heavy rain for the most part, and I'm guess it probably slowly faded away as early as 10pm. The other bit of the forecast that was wrong was the temperature. It probably hit around 26 C, or three degrees higher than the best anticipated temperature. This morning started off at about 16
C, but felt nice and fresh in the early morning sunshine. With a bit of luck it will be mostly bright and sunny today, and the temperature may rise to as high as yesterday.

 I felt pretty dreadful at work yesterday. It's hard to pinpoint any single bit of me that was worse than any other bit, and none of these bits were specifically painful. The closest analogy is like when you have 'flu - unless you're wrapped up nice and warm, and resting, bits ache - mostly muscles. Yesterday it wasn't just muscular aches, and I'm not even sure that ache is the right word. I need a word to describe pain that isn't pain (as stupid as that sounds) and ache seems to be the closest I can arrive at.

 I remember having various aches and pains before my operation, but I am sure they were more specific, and they were more sporadic. Since that operation, and let's not forget the blood pressure drugs I am on that could be having a negative effect on me, I have never felt more ill in all my life. Most often it is just a general feeling of fatigue accompanying stiff legs, arms and back (with the latter two being far more intermittent).

 Everything I have tried to describe there is almost indescribable (if I could successfully describe it I might possibly be able to get my doctor to cure it), but there is at least one thing that is perfectly describable, and also completely inexplainable. It concerns my bladder, and associated plumbing. During the operation I was catheterised to stop my relaxed muscle allowing wee to spray everywhere (maybe). This meant they somehow shoved this ruddy great hosepipe up  my willy ! You would not believe how big the bloody thing was. I didn't see it until after the operation, and once I did see it, and had recovered from the shock, I could see why one of the risks I had to agree with on the consent form was the possibility of incontinence.

 Fortunately the damage that shoving a huge tube through passages far too small for it actually did was not to make me incontinent. At least not in the conventional sense. I am sure some sort of damage was done, but in some ways it is strangely beneficial. Since my operation I feel sure I get up more often in the night to have a wee. What makes that a bit more annoying is that very often it is a very small wee. It might seem obvious that I would also be rushing to the toilet every five minutes when drinking many pints of beer, and both you and I would be wrong. That used to happen before the operation, but no longer happens. I am still rather shy of long bus and train rides after a boozing session, but where I have dared to do so, I haven't arrived home absolutely busting ! It's rather handy really !

 So my capacity for drinking beer has increased, and I no longer suffer from really rather unpleasant angina pains when walking, but the downsides to my operation are still annoying. It would help if all the agonies of not smoking for almost 10 months now had shown any positive benefits to anything except to my wallet. My lungs feel in far worse shape now. I sometimes feel I am now running on just one lung, or even less. It wasn't so long ago, perhaps a few xmas's ago that I could almost fill a toy balloon with one lungful of air. I don't feel like I could even half fill one today with my smoke free lungs.

 The recent news that Rik Mayall has died at the age of 56 is rather sad. I guess you could say he was one of my heroes, although when playing alongside Ade Edmundson it was the latter who I liked the most. I'm not sure how I feel about outliving one of my heroes by 3 years. If it didn't sound so sinister I would say it felt like a good thing - almost something to celebrate. 30 years ago the warnings about smoking and obesity were a lot less loud, but they were still there, and I did pay attention to them. Considering how overweight I was, and how much I smoked, I thought it inconceivable that I would live much longer than 30 years. It gave me a pretty relaxed view about death. The feelings ebb and flow, but generally speaking life is pretty boring, and that philosophy also gives me a pretty relaxed view about death. It's why, much to many people's surprise, I didn't make a big deal about going into hospital, and having open heart surgery. It didn't matter to me if I died, and yet the great paradox was that it was an interesting enough experience to make life worth living for a while. So here I am, still alive for almost double the time I expected to be alive, three years more life that Rik Mayall achieved, and all the while treating my body with reckless abandon.

 Meanwhile, back in the cheap seats, it seems everyone has forgotten one of Rik Mayall's TV series. The newspapers haven't mentioned it, nor has the TV, and neither has any of my (virtual internet) friends. It was the series that came after "Bottom", which was the follow up to "The Young Ones", and it was called "Filthy, Rich and Catflap". It may not have been as good as the others, but it was still worth a laugh - several of them ! Watch this - http://youtu.be/vFjaUaP0Vg4 and when you've finished with that, take a look at The Dangerous Brothers ! - http://youtu.be/dzlhUKJ5KvQ.
Monday 9th June 2014
08:28 BST

  Yesterday was like a classic summers day. Just a few white  fluffy clouds drifted across a pure blue sky, and it was almost hot at a pleasant 26 C. It was a hot night too ! The temperature in my bedroom was still a sweaty 25
C when I woke up this morning. Today's weather is going to be slightly more complex !
The weather forecast for today -
                    Monday 9th June 2014
 So far today the weather has been strangely different to how it was forecast at 5am this morning. Around 6 or 7am there was some bright sunshine, but as 8am approached, when the chart suggests bright sunshine, it has become far cloudier, and at the moment there is not a hint of sunshine. It's what happens at 4pm (16:00) that bothers me. The chart suggests it will be sunny and raining hard just as I am on my way home home from work. I think I'll choose the sunshine if there is any choice to be had. At least tomorrow looks like it might be a nice day....although by tomorrow the same forecast might say it is going to snow !

 Yesterday was a successful sort of day. I was rather happy with the amount of laundry I managed to do, and it was nice that it dried so quickly in the sunshine (and the shirts I dried indoors also dried quickly too). I was also quite pleased that my decision to not go out shopping resulted in me eating far less than I might otherwise have done. I still ate more cheese than is probably good for me, but in some ways I think there is a possibility that I ate less than on a typical weekday when I am at work. For a day spent on my own at home that is rare.

 I thought I got a good night's sleep on Saturday night, but maybe it was not as good as I thought. Yesterday afternoon, after doing the final bit of laundry, and after having a bite to eat, I lay on my bed to read, but promptly fell asleep. I can't be sure, but I think I slept for nearly three hours ! It wasn't continuous sleep. On a couple of occasions I woke up and managed to read half a page before my eyelids would start drooping again.

 It may have been very useful to get that extra sleep because I had trouble sleeping in the heat last night. I lay on my bed at 8.30pm trying to get to sleep, but I felt too uncomfortable. So I got out of bed and had a couple of large whiskies while reading some stuff on the internet. At 10pm I tried for sleep again, and with the aid of a fan I just managed to get to sleep after a while. I woke a few times in the night, and even when I was asleep it was often not deep sleep judging by the amount of dreams I was having.

 I woke up this morning feeling lightly cooked, and with a sore neck, upper back, middle back, and lower back where the fan had chilled me. Most of those aches have gone now, and I guess I don't feel too bad now I am at work and resting. One area that is still occasionally sore is the left half of my chest. It could be something terribly serious, or it could be a few more nerves re-growing. The latter is very likely. I do believe I might have more sensation from my left nipple now - which has little practical value, but is far better than it feeling like a bit of dead meat !

 When passing through Waterloo station this morning I noticed the latest company to use the concourse for a promotion was Center Parcs. They must be desperate because they set up two stands....and I took 5 pictures !
 Center Parcs 1
Center Parcs 2
Center Parcs 3
Center Parcs 4
Center Parcs 5
Sunday 8th June 2014
10:00 BST

  The weather forecast for yesterday was terribly pessimistic. Yes, we did have some horrible looking skies in the morning, and a couple of heavy downpours, but the afternoon was generally bright and sunny. It was also warm with the temperature around 24 C for much of the afternoon. My memory is a bit hazy, but I think I saw fairly clear sky before darkness fell last night. Usually that would make for a cold morning, but this morning was rather pleasant. Initially the sky was a little milky looking, but the sun soon burnt through that, and now the sky looks blue from horizon to horizon (or at least the bits of it I can see from here are blue). The temperature has already hit 21
C, and I feel sure it will exceed yesterday's 24 C. This is what summer is made of ! It seems that tomorrow will be almost as warm, but there will be less sunshine, with a shower in the morning, and more showers in the evening. Shame !

 My ultimate aim for yesterday was to be very lazy, and on the whole I achieved that, but there were a few serious departures from it. For instance I hand washed not one, but two bath towels - the type that are blooody heavy when dripping with water ! I hung them on the line in the garden to dry, and they were half dry this morning - literally. The top halves were bone dry, but the bottom half was still very damp. They won't stay that way for long in this nice sunshine - I hope !

 I decided against going to any supermarkets to get any shopping yesterday. I have quite a good selection to eat here already, and buying extra stuff would only tempt me to eat more than I would like to eat. It was a fine theory, but I did go to the cornet shop where I bought more than a couple of bottles of pop...some very naughty stuff, but at least I now know what a 50th anniversary (was it 50th ? - that seems far too long !) "champagne" Magnum ice cream bar tastes like ! They are nice but not wonderful enough to cross the road for.

 I spent a fair amount of time laying on my bed reading, but during the early evening I decided to order some food to be delivered - this was despite having perfectly good food here. I ordered grilled meat with salad - aka shish kebab. While I ate that I watched some TV. BBC 2 was showing an old episode of "Yes Prime Minister" as part of some celebration. It is amazing just how relevant the series is to today's politics when today's politics is viewed with a jaundiced eye (or maybe from a third person perspective). Not only that, but it remains incredibly funny after all these years.

 I stayed up a little later than most nights last night. I guess I was in bed around 10pm, and it didn't seem to take long to fall into quite a pleasant sleep. I woke up a couple of times in the night, but I think I had a rather good night's sleep, but I can't say for definite how much sleep I got. Ignoring the couple of times I just got up for a pee, I first woke up at first light, and I was almost tempted to actually get up then, but after a short while I turned over and went back to sleep. That happened a few more times with the amount of time I was awake getting longer and longer. I think it was about 8am when I finaly decided that I couldn't be bothered to try and go back to sleep.

 I feel almost good this morning. It seems that the prolonged stomach upset I had seems to have passed, although I do feel acutely aware that I ate too much yesterday. I think it is actually more guilt than any physical effect, and I am trying to eat as little as possible today. So far I have eaten nothing, but after some quite energetic hand washing I am feeling very peckish right now. Earlier on I washed another 4 shirts. Three of them were short sleeved shirts that I haven't worn for well over 12 months, and probably a lot longer than that.

 The reason I haven't worn them was because they are white, and white shirts remind me too much of school. Well that's one reason. Maybe the bigger reason is that they show up stains too easily, and after hanging up in a smoky room for ages they all had yellow looking collars. So I've given them a good scrub, and I think they will be OK for work when dry. I also washed a couple of t-shirts, a pair of lounge pants, and a pair of underpants. I have nothing else to wash except the clothes I am wearing right now, and some bed linen. The bed linen is going to need all the washing line in the garden, and that is going to have to wait until next weekend maybe.

 I now have nothing else to do for the rest of the day - nothing else of a physical nature. I do have a book and a magazine to finish that could take up the rest of the day if I wanted, but what I ought to do is to go out. Maybe I will once I've had a shower and washed my hair. On the other hand, I am never keen on going out on Sundays. Transport is often crap, and on a warm sunny day like today the parks will be full of screaming kids - probably. Maybe I should do some hoovering instead..........
Saturday 7th June 2014
13:26 BST

  The weather yesterday was a huge improvement on that of the previous day. It was bright, and mostly sunny, and it ended up just heading into the region of warm - a degree or two above 20 C. Today is turning out a bit better than expected. It was forecast to be almost continually gloomy with loads of rain. We have seen plenty of gloom, and a few showers, one of which was rather heavy, but right now the sun is shining, and there have been a few previous sunny spells. I'm currently measuring 24
C outside at the moment, and it is feeling a bit humid. I guess the rest of today will continue the pattern of sun and showers, but tomorrow is forecast to be bright and sunny for most of the day - unless the forecast has changed since I last saw it !

 There is a medical condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I reckon I might have bypassed that and gone straight on to Bloody Annoyed Bowel Syndrome ! The bloated feeling I mentioned yesterday morning increased, as did the frequency of my trips to the toilet. The good thing is that it is a very green, planet hugging, ecological condition because it is purely wind powered ! Although some say that methane is a far, far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

 It was bad enough that I wondered if it would actually be safe to go home from work yesterday. Having a personal accident was one concern, but killing fellow passengers in the train, and rotting the rails were also worrying. Happily it was a safe journey, but it did involve a delay at Waterloo that was long enough to make me miss my train. It was a 19 minute wait for the next one - which isn't too bad, but....

 I had similar fears when it came to going out to The Catford Ram to see Hardtail playing last night. It is only a short walk, maybe 6 or 7 minutes, but you don't use the toilets in that pub more than is absolutely neccessary ! I made sure I ate as lightly as I could when I got in, and maybe that helped a bit. Maybe having the condition itself was actually a helpful thing. It certainly kept me awake for long enough, otherwise I could easily have been in bed, and maybe even half way to sleep at the time I went out.

 I'm glad I went out last night because it was quite enjoyable. Hardtail have a few failings like most bands I guess, but overall they are pretty good. John the drummer warming up for well over half an hour before the gig was due to start was a bit irritating, but it seems to work because he sounded good once the gig started (not that I am an expert on drummers).
Hardtail at The Catford Ram
 Here's Hardtail on the stage at "the Ram". On the left on bass guitar - Dan Murphy. John Sutcliff on Drums. Jamie Bull on vocals and keyboards, and I think the guitarist on the right is Steve.
some of the audience
....and here's some of the audience - Chris Honkytonk Wells, Chris Mayer, and empty chair with a pint of Guinness in front of it (mine !), Kevin Crowhurst, and Andy Reany.

 I didn't think I would be staying right to the end, and I didn't, but unless they went well over time, which the govenor of the pub seemed happy with, I didn't miss more than a song or two. It was a few minutes after 11pm when I left the pub, and I went straight home.I had made a firm decision not to buy any chicken and chips last night - not because of all my farting and other unpleasant stuff, but more because I thought I could have something slightly more generally healthy - liver and bacon.

 It was a ready meal that I 90% cooked before I went out, and just had to zap for 2 minutes in the microwave whenI got in. It was actually so nice that I had two of them. They seemed a little bit small by themselves, but two definitely rather puts the mockers on any pretense that it was a healthy meal. I don't think they did anything positive for my Bloody Angry Bowel Syndrome either, although having said that, I only had one flare up that lasted less than half an hour a little earlier. I think I feel OK right now, but then again I thought I felt perfectly normal after the usual early morning business had passed.

 Before the weather turned out to be better than expected (although still rather unpredictable) I made my mind up that I would have a nice lazy day today. I planned to do just three things today (plus some almost relaxing photo editing). The first was to go out and get some shopping. That came to nought when it decided to pour down just about the time I was considering going out. I think I'll put that off until tomorrow now, but I'll probably go to the corner shop for a bottle of pop soon.

 The second thing was to wash my work shirts. I let them build up so I had to do 5 of them. The third and last thing is to do a little more washing. I've got a towel or two to wash, and they are always bloody heavy to manhandle when wet, and difficult to wring out. So my plan is to hang it outside in the garden where the last of today's rain can give it a final rinse, and tomorrows promised sunshine will bake it dry. Maybe I'll do the same with a couple of t-shirts too, but before all that it is time to lie down and practice for my black belt in being ultra lazy !
Friday 6th June 2014
09:07 BST

  I feel forced to admit that the forecast for yesterday was about right. I was bright with some extended spells of sunshine, but the temperature did get a degree or two higher than forecast - I noted 20 C on my thermometer at home, although the display on the "Banham Burglary  Prevention" building, visible from the train near Vauxhall station, said it was 18
C on my way home, and that was precisely as forecast. Today has started out bright and sunny, but once again it was a rather cools start - around 11 C. There are some patches of fairly thin looking cloud in the sky, but much of today is forecast to be bright and sunny. Today it should reach as high as 24 C ! It is possible that even warmer air is heading our way, but at the same time much cooler air is also heading this way from another direction. The two meet somewhere, sometime tomorrow, and where they clash all hell will be let loose. If we are lucky it will all happen well to the west of London, but even then London will not completely escape. The forecast for tomorrow is probably still being refined, but the estimates are for wet and windy at best to raging torrential downpours with copious amounts of thunder and lightning at worst !

 I think my new found energy is on the wane. I didn't feel nearly as sprightly as the previous day when going home from work yesterday. It probably didn't help that the trainers I was wearing were feeling rather uncomfortable by the end of the day. They were fine when I went to work, but it felt like I was walking on cobble stones  on the way home. Maybe the confirmation that the magic is over for a while is that I didn't feel much like dancing and skipping my way to work this morning...but then again, that is not my preferred way of coming to work anyway !

 Some of how I feel today can probably be blamed on what I ate last night. I was very curious to try the chorizo burgers I bought from Tesco the day before. I can't believe how much fat came out of them when I grilled them on my electric grill. It makes me realise just how lean my preferred Aldi Aberdeen Angus burgers are. The sad fact is that the chorizo burgers were definitely not wonderful, and I am unsure if I would even use the fairly bland word "nice" about them. All I can really say is that they were not horrible, but I have no desire to buy any more of them.
 
 Those burgers formed just part of my dinner last night. The rest of it was made up of an assortment of other stuff. None of it was particularly bad by itself, but added together, it
was certainly far from healthy, and it seems to have left me feeling a bit bloated this morning. I did very little else apart from eating last night. I spent a little time reading a fairly amusing online comic I somehow found by following a link on another page I was reading a few days ago. It is about an American guy who goes to Japan to teach (American, rather than The Queen's) English. It is quite amusing despite both cultures being totally alien to me. You can find it here - http://friedchickenandsushi.com/comics/2010/4/12/fcs001-welcome.html.

 One of the things about last night is that I felt a bit chilly despite it being on it's way to being warm outside. It was 22 C in my bedroom, and if I had been walking about it would have felt perfectly comfortable, if not actually warm. For some reason it felt really quite chilly to just laze around in. So I decided to stop reading on the PC, and to get into bed and read a book there. That was at about 8.15pm. Once I was in bed I decided not to bother reading, but to go straight to sleep. It took a little longer than that, but I guess I was fast asleep 15 or 20 minutes later.

 I slept very soundly until about 2.30am when I woke up for the first time. I thought I felt wide awake, and wouldn't get back to sleep again - 10 minutes later I was probably fast asleep again. The same thing happened approximately an hour later, but this time I was awake a little longer, and then when the same thing happened again at about 4.30am I gave up trying to get back to sleep again after about 10 minutes. Well I almost gave up then, but I did try some reverse psychology first. I tried laying there for another 5 minutes trying not to go to sleep. Unfortunately that worked, and I didn't go to sleep, and so I got up earlier than needed.

 I am very happy it is Friday because I have come to the conclusion that I am exhausted after working a 5 day week. Perhaps "run down" is more accurate than exhausted, but I guess it all means the same in the long run. I am hoping that I will get my second wind after I get home. There is a gig on at The Catford Ram tonight, and I definitely want to go to it. The only problem is that unlike when Chain play there, it is a late evening gig that is not due to start until 8.30pm - and I am quite good at falling asleep in bed at that time. Still, it's only a short walk away. So there should be no good reasons why I can't go, but I'll very much be looking forward to tomorrow when I can be as lazy as I want...although that will probably only translate to an extra couple of hours in bed before I start a few chores like shopping and laundry - and then I can be the laziest bastard on Earth !
Thursday 5th June 2014
08:05 BST

  There was some very heavy rain yesterday, but fortunately for me it all fell at times when I wasn't bothered about it. At other times it was almost a nice day. There were a few bright periods during the morning, and for most of the time as I made my way home from work it was brilliantly sunny with over half the sky a brilliant blue. It rained half an hour or so after I arrived home, and by "rained" I mean there was a torrential downpour that lasted quite a long time. There may have been some rain in the night, but I wasn't really aware of that. This is the (alleged) professionals prediction for today's weather in detail, and a vague summary of the next few days.
weather for Lewisham on Thursday 5th
                    June 2014
 On the whole it doesn't look too bad, but it is wrong already. There was no rain at 6am - white fluffy clouds covered less than 50% of the sky, and the sun was shining. I'm never quite sure how to interpret the symbol shown for 8am, but that is right now, and I am seeing nothing but blue sky out my window, and the sun appears to be shining at full strength. One bit that is right is that it was only 11 C at 6am - rather cool to come to work in my (short) shirt sleeves, but I did it anyway. If it is as it seems, that the forecasters are being too pessimistic about the sunshine, then maybe we might see something rather better than the 18 C top temperature forecast for today.
sunny Earlsfield
 This is the sight that greeted me as I approached work this morning. I took this picture because the streak of cloud in the centre of the picture has some remarkably sharp edges (not that it is terribly obvious in this picture). You normally expect clouds to have fluffy edges  (apart from some black storm clouds) but this streak of white cloud almost looks like it has been cut out of a sheet of cloud by a very sharp knife. I expect it is probably more common than I think, but it just struck me as unusual as I looked up at it.

 It is almost as if I have been cured of something, and that may be the case, but for yet another day I found that I had more energy than what seemed usual on my way home from work. Maybe "energy" is not quite the right word - what I actually noticed was that I was able to walk faster with less effort than I could something over a week ago. Since I stopped taking the statins that my doctor wants me to take, I think I have been slowly building up to this - and it has been very slowly. I guess I stopped taking those nasty little pills two months ago now. It does seem rather incredible that they could take this long to clear from my system, but maybe it has taken this long to repair the damage they did. It is possible that they did no damage at all, and it is just that it has taken this long for the effects of my open heart surgery to almost go away. I guess I'll never really know, but while it feels good, I don't really care.

 I went home via Tesco yesterday, and amongst loads of other stuff I bought a couple of fish ready meals. One was a Tesco own brand that was just chilled, and one was a frozen one by Findus (I think). I had had a yearning for a nice fish dinner, but those two were really disappointing. I don't know whether it was the fish they were using - which could have been that nasty basa that is sold as a cod substitute - or whether it was stuff they now leave out to make the meal allegedly healthier. Both seemed rather dry, and if the Findus one had not had a very strong taste of parsley, I think they would both have been rather tasteless (which would be about right for basa). By the way, when I say basa I might actually mean pollock - another rather bland pointless fish.

 It is so easy to buy stuff in Tesco that I really should not be buying. As a "for instance" I bought a packet of chorizo flavoured beef burgers. I expect they will taste very nice indeed when grilled, but why I failed to notice that I was buying a pack of 4 instead of 2 is a mystery. It is also a mystery why I allowed myself to be suckered in to take advantage, if indeed it is an advantage, to get a packet of garlic flavoured beef burgers, also a 4 pack, in a "buy two for 7" offer. I now have a whole heap of burgers that I will have to use fairly quickly because I've no room in my freezer. It is going to be a lovely experience, but it may not do my health any good.

 As well as spending too much money on stuff that I should not have been buying in Tesco, I did some other important stuff yesterday. I took two gorilla strength anti-depressants, and a large dose of morphine, and paid my credit card bill. It was only just over 60, but I find it breaks my heart to pay any bill (although phone bills are worse). While I was in a financial sort of mood I transferred some money out of my current account into my savings account. It was not a large amount, and yet it was possibly enough to make me broke by the end of the month - unless I am very careful. My last great heroic act of the evening was to wash my hair.

 As soon as my hair was dry enough I went to bed, and last night I think I managed to get to sleep before 9pm. In some ways that was surprising, and in some ways entirely predictable. I had a rotten sleep the night before, and in theory I was tired, but maybe that theory was wrong. I didn't seem to be excessively sleepy at work, and I only dozed off a few times in front of the PC here. When I got into bed last night I didn't feel like I was on my last legs as I expected I would, but I probably went to sleep faster than it felt like I would.

 I don't really know if I slept well last night. I only remember waking up a couple of times, but I do seem to recall dreaming a lot. One dream almost felt like it went on all night. I'm sure there is supposed to be something disturbing about dreaming that you are going on a long journey, and you don't really know your destination, nor what changes to make, and what railway station platforms to use to get there. I don't think I feel disturbed after such a dream. Maybe I just like mystery tours by train !

 Thursdays are one of my favourite days to call in sick to work. I think three days of work is enough to wear me out these days, or maybe it is something else entirely, but as much as I would like not to be at work, it seems I'm here. Maybe I just couldn't dream up enough symptoms to call in sick. My right knee, and my left ankle were sometimes a bit stiff and/or sore this morning, and I guess I would have preferred to have finished passing wind before I left home, but mostly I felt terribly OK this morning. This is bad news. If this gets any worse I may have to stop hating Fridays ! In theory I will be knackered when I get home, and then I should be all set for a long nights sleep. In yet another, or perhaps continuing theory, I will get my second wind, or something like that, and feel fit and chopper to go out to a gig tomorrow night. Hardtail are performing at The Catford Ram. Getting there, just a 5 or 6 minute walk should be no problem, but unlike when Chain play there, it is a late (8.30pm) start. So I might have trouble staying awake that late.

 This morning at Waterloo station - I don't know what it's all about, but the easels and stuff makes me think that it is something to do with artists. Maybe it is promoting some art exhibition somewhere or something. I'll probably find out on my way home after work.
something on Waterloo station 
Wednesday 4th June 2014
08:38 BST

  There were good points and bad points about yesterday's weather. The good was that there was some bright sunshine. It didn't last that long, but at least it happened. The bad was probably that there was a shower while I was on my way home from work. For a short while it teamed down while I was waiting for my train at Waterloo East station. Fortunately it was dry when I arrived in Catford. The other bad point was that at just 17 C it was starting to feel a bit cool (although not cold). Maybe
17 C was not quite so bad when you consider that today may struggle to even reach 15 C ! There has been some light drizzly rain already today, and the forecast suggests more could fall at any time from the grey, leaden skies we will have to endure today.

 I don't know if it was what I had eaten, or whether it was the changing weather, or maybe just the shoes I was wearing, but I seemed to have an unusual amount of energy on my way home from work yesterday. That is, of course, an unusual amount by comparison with recent times, but it could have been as high as 56% of my all time high - ever ! I found myself rushing around in a way that I haven't experienced since last time (whenever that was). Of course I was completely burned out by the time I was halfway between the station and home, but it was sort of fun while it lasted.

 I came close to going home via Tesco, but decided to avoid all the temptations that can bring by going straight home. I'm not sure if that was the wisest decision in light of what I eventually ate. Once again it was not terribly excessive, but I could have made better choices, or just been slightly more disciplined. For instance I didn't really need all the Red Leicester cheese on the pasta with meatballs...or maybe I did because I used
Red Leicester instead of a cheese with a much stronger flavour. However the deed is done, and tonight I will go home via Tesco. I could get much of what I need from the Turkish supermarket, and that could reduce the temptations a bit, but one thing they don't have is any ready made fish meals (like fisherman's pie), and I feel that is what I want for dinner tonight.

 I did consider that some of my earlier energy may have been the result of getting some good sleep the night before, and maybe that was an important part of it. So last night I thought I would try and get a good lot of sleep again. So I got myself in bed before 8.30pm, and I laid there trying to get to sleep. I failed miserably. I thought I felt tired when I first got in bed, but that feeling totally evaporated. It was one of those nights where it felt too hot under the duvet, and too cool without it. Plus it was one of those nights where all the lumps in the pillows swell up in a mysterious way - probably for the same evil reason that the sheets ruck up, lumps that were never there in the mattress suddenly appear - and then the street light outside seems brighter than usual - all the planes seem to be diverted to fly straight across the house - the trains add extra "clack" to their wheels - the foxes mating reaches fever pitch - and the local cats are just trying to sing me to sleep ! It is probably better to say that I had a totally crap night rather than try to describe it blow by blow.

 After what seemed like just a few hours of sleep, most of which seemed to be filled with unpleasant dreams, or even nightmares, I don't actually feel too bad this morning. I had a bit of mild stomach trouble, but not enough to stop me getting to the station 10 minutes earlier than I needed to. I didn't seem to have anything like the energy I had, albeit briefly, last night, but enough to walk comfortably at an easy stroll when needed. Quite what I will be like later is anyone's guess, but I am thinking I may feel a bit drained by the time I get home tonight. Perhaps tonight I will sleep properly - even if it needs a couple of large whiskies to help me on my way.

 A couple of days ago I showed a picture taken at Waterloo station of a promotional event by Cadbury's. I thought it was just a one day event because another company were giving away bottles of water yesterday. I did see some of the Cadbury's stuff still stacked up as I walked through the station yesterday morning, but I assumed it was just waiting collection. It seems I was wrong. If you search the entire internet there is a video of what was going on at Waterloo yesterday. There was a camera relaying pictures of the crowd onto the gigantic mega widescreen display. Superimposed on the picture were things that people could try and (virtually) catch, and those that did won a prize. At least I think it was something like that. So there were all these loonies jumping and stretching in front of a load of bemused commuters. Let's hope they enjoyed their chocolate prize as a reward for their complete public humiliation !
public humiliation at Waterloo
                    station
Tuesday 3rd June 2014
08:33 BST

  In some respects yesterday wasn't a bad day. It could have done with more bright sunshine, but there was some sunshine, and even with no direct sunshine it was still fairly bright. The surprising thing was how warm it got. I measured 24 C when I got home from work, but it was a slightly sticky heat, and I think we only just escaped a storm brewing up. Today has started off mild(ish), but I did detect some very fine rain blowing in the wind as I walked from the station to work. A brief shower is forecast for about now. There are some dark looking clouds in the sky. So it could happen soon. From then on, according to the forecast, it was be dry with light grey clouds until another shower around 6pm, and further showers much later in the evening. The top temperature may, or may not be 19
C today, but hopefully it may be a degree or two higher, and if we are very, very lucky we could see some sunshine despite what is predicted in the forecast.

 I didn't feel that bad at work yesterday. That was partly helped by yesterday being only a mildly horrible working day. Nevertheless, I was still keen to get home. I can't go as far as saying that it was a pleasant journey home, but there was nothing unpleasant about it. I decided to walk everywhere just a tiny bit slower most of the time. When I am feeling tolerably healthy I usually try and walk at about 3.2mph. On my way home from work I found that 3.1mph was more comfortable, although it did make my walk from the station to home last 6 minutes and 27 seconds instead of the usual 6 minutes and 2 seconds. That annoyed me a bit, but I'll get over it.

 One of the things I wanted to more than anything yesterday was to get back to bed, but that had to wait until I had done other stuff - like preparing and eating dinner. My dinner was, yet again, not one of the healthiest meals I've eaten, but I could easily have done far worse.The principle components of diner were a bowl of salad with extra tomato and an olive oil and vinegar dressing, and a couple of venison grills. The grills were, as you would expect venison to be, fairly lean. They were tasty, but maybe not enough to go out of my way to get more of them. Of course it was some of the other bits, including hula hoops, that spoiled what could otherwise have been some moderately healthy eating.

 Dave Griffiths and Jo Corteen - Night
                  Owl

The other important thing on my list of stuff that had to be done last night was to review and edit some of the photos I took on Sunday afternoon of Night Owl performing.

 I'm not sure why, but many of the photos I took did not come out all that well. Well maybe I do know why some of the photos were crap. I was trying not to use the flash on my camera too much. There was some multi-coloured stage lighting, and that can make for colourful photos, but it does carry a penalty. It is not very bright, and that makes the exposure time on the camera long enough to get bad motion smearing. A few came out OK, but many were a complete disaster.


On the left of the picture on the left is Dave Griffiths - keyboard maestro of Night Owl, and on the right of the picture is Jo Corteen - singer and guitar player.
Jo Corteen
 I think the picture above was probably a mix of flash and stage lighting. Jo, and the speaker grill of her guitar amp, have a purple blush, but the image is still sharp.

 I finished with my photo editing at 8pm, and I was in bed minutes later. I intended to read for a bit, and I did, but it was a much smaller bit than I had imagined. I had barely read a page before my eyelids started drooping. So I put the book down and turned off the lights. I'm not sure if I remember much after that until I got up to go for a wee sometime after 2am. I slept pretty solidly until about 15 minutes before my alarm was due to wake me at 5am.

 This morning I have almost convinced myself that I feel nice and refreshed. I'm not sure I was so successful trying to convince myself of my own sanity. It seemed like someone was playing tricks with time this morning. Time seemed to flow so slowly when I first got up. I read several things on the internet from one of my favourite tech web sites (http://www.theregister.co.uk/) and the minutes ticked past ever so slowly. Then I went and had a shower, and unbeknown to me, the minutes started flashing by. When I got back to me bedroom I found that it was much later than it should have been, and that I could either rush around like a mad thing, or I could get the later train. I opted for a later train even though it would make me notionally late for work, and far more tragically, force me to pay peak fares on the trains !
pink gorilla juice
 It seems there were free samples of Pink Gorilla Juice being given away on Waterloo station this morning. When I got down to the concourse level I could see it was actually Aqua Pura water being given away (presumably suitably doped with a government citizen pacifier - maybe Soma). It seemed to be something to do with Race For Your Life (presumably an offshoot of Running Man).

 I don't think I have any plans for tonight. Maybe I might attempt to eat a bit healthier, or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll be having another early night - that seems quite likely !
Monday 2nd June 2014
08:20 BST

 Yesterday was definitely a little taste of summer...maybe a dilute summer, but definitely summer. Today is a bit different, but maybe it won't be quite as awful as I originally thought. It was unusually mild this morning - about 16 C - but it was also rather damp. It was only a light spray of rain, but it was raining a I walked to the station. It just about stopped before I boarded my train, and I haven't felt more than an isolated drop or two since then. Most of today is forecast to be grey, but maybe it won't be as grey as I feared. It seems slightly duller now, but as I walked from the station the sky was more a milky white rather than grey, and there were a few thin patches with a hint of blue behind. Maybe we might be lucky and get some weak sunshine from time to time. A shower is forecast for mid afternoon, possibly just as I am going home, but it will almost be warm today with 19
C forecast.

 Yesterday was a very pleasant day, but I seemed to be paying for it first thing this morning. Several factors were involved in the first instance of feeling horrible. I seemed to drink a fair amount of Guinness, which raises my blood glucose level quite high. Then I had a fairly substantial dinner when I got in, and that dinner had a very generous sprinkling of hot chilli sauce. Finally, it was a warm night, and I had my bedroom windows closed. I woke up when my alarm sounded at 5am feeling like I had been cooked. I felt dreadfully hot, and it was a great relief to throw the duvet off.

 That chilli sauce also seemed to give me some problems in the bottom area (ring sting !!). On top of everything else, I seemed to have a hangover...except it wasn't a classic hangover, but a sort of mutated version. It's hard to explain really, but I felt bloody awful on the train from Catford to Waterloo, but curiously enough I started to feel far better very quickly after I arrived at Waterloo. Now I am at work I still wish I was in bed. That is a very strong feeling, and I have been yawning an awful lot since getting up, but otherwise I seem to feel tolerably well now.

 This morning I think they were getting ready to give away free samples of chocolate at Waterloo station.
Waterloo station concourse Monday 2nd
                    June 2014
Waterloo concourse
Sunday 1st June 2014
20:40 BST

 I think that yesterday's weather was better than expected. Maybe there was less sunshine than I would have preferred, but there was some, and it remained dry
and mild. Today, against all odds,, or at least against what was originally forecast, was a far superior day. It was bright and sunny for long periods of time, and when it wasn't sunny, it was only not sunny for very brief periods of time. Not only that, but it felt quite warm. With the sun now fairly low on the horizon, the temperature has just dropped below 19 C. Earlier on, perhaps mid afternoon, it could have been as high as 23 C. The rather pessimistic weather forecast says tomorrow is going to be cooler, greyer, and possibly even wetter - maybe summer is now over !

 Today has been a fun packed day. This morning I met Aleemah for breakfast. As we walked from the station to the pub e went past The Catford Ram, and I was happy to see the posters up outside the place - or at least the poster on the left !
Night Owl at The Catford Ram
 I had already planned to go to the gig as soon as I heard about it, and Aleemah was quite interested to go too. So she stayed here until about 2.30pm when we took a stroll to the pub. I wasn't particularly surprised to not see too many people there, but more turned up later. The idea of a matinee performance was a bit of a novel one, but I thought it was marvellous. I hope it sets some sort of trend.  The gig went on a bit longer than expected, and after the gig there was a bit of socialising, but not much. People were setting up for more "music" in the form of a sort of disco/party that was to go on until quite late.
BIG speakers
 As you can see, the speakers were rather big - so big they had to be anchored to the bedrock to stand the vibrations from thousands of watts of bass heavy reggae. A unique feature of these speakers is that they have a frequency response that goes down close to zero, and tweeters that can floor a bat at a distance of 500 metres, but they appear to have absolutely no midrange response at all. I guess that is what their fans like, but it sounded bloody awful to me.

 So while tonight a dreadful racket will be coming from The Catford Ram, there is the prospect of something rather better there next Friday night....very, extremely, considerably much better !!!
Hardtail appearing at The Catford Ram
                    on 6th June 2014
 I think there is an excellent chance that I will be there next Friday. Meanwhile, another picture taken on the way back from the pub. This one is a little bit sad.
WH Smiths closing in Catford  

   Now I have to admit that I very rarely use WH Smiths these days, but it is nice to know it's there when needed. The closure could be part of a longer term plan. The whole Catford Centre is due for demolition in as little as a few years time, and I have been told that most of the shops are on short term leases now (although I can't vouch for the authenticity of that information). Maybe the shop will just stand derelict until it is demolished, or maybe some "dodgy" pop up business will get a short term lease on it. Time will tell, but it is just another little bit of Catford that slowly, slowly changes until I no longer recognise it as the place I was brought up in.

 Well, work tomorrow, and I have to get to bed very soon now.  There's no time to review all the pictures, and three video clips I took this afternoon, but before the week is out, maybe on Tuesday morning, I'll have a few pictures of the gig to show, but now I'm yawning. Goodnight !