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Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Breakfast and tea for me

Fourth day back after very pleasant holidays and it already seems a million years ago. Too bloody hot on town centre beat for one thing. I ended up pouring cold (ish) water over my neck in an attempt to keep my body temperature down every time I went for a ‘comfort break’ which was about five times before lunch. Six if you count tea break, but it’s been so swelteringly uncomfortable. We’re short handed too, as about four of the guys are still suffering from yesterdays heat and are still pretty much hors de combat.

Notwithstanding, the past few days have been pretty difficult to cope with, but at least we’ve been excused from wearing our uniform ties. Our uniform hats, which have to be worn while booking, rapidly become so uncomfortable that we can’t wear them for more than half an hour at a stretch. I think it’s the stuff they are made out of, which although it may keep the rain off, performs the function of a microwave oven on your head in temperatures like those we are experiencing. My brains get overheated enough without any assistance from sweaty headgear.

Nature note; even the birds appear to have stopped singing in the full heat of the day. Normally you hear the chirping of sparrows etc as you pass by some of the greener parts of a beat, but for the past few days an almost uncanny silence has reigned. Just the odd flutter within the bushes as the denizens contest a cooler perch. Nothing of what you might call birdsong though.

Because of the heat and humidity I’ve stopped having anything to eat at lunchtime. Even in the evening anything more than a light salad is too taxing on the system, so in order to have sufficient calories to make it through the day, breakfast has taken on a new importance. I’ve been getting up half an hour earlier just to prepare a tasty repast without it being too heavy. For example, this morning I sat in the garden (The Gazebo is up) with Mrs Sticker and dined on;

Celery sticks stuffed with Brie and Goats cheese
Black olive hummus dip
Cold Black Olive and Chorizo kebabs
Cold Kabanos and sweet red pepper kebabs
Strawberries and fromage frais as a dip
Iced water

This kept me going until around five when hunger pangs started to make their presence felt, so I dropped by a coffee shop after my shift end and treated myself to a small latte with extra caffeine to bridge the gap until supper, which was scrambled eggs and some cheap smoked salmon accompanied by oatmeal crackers. Glass of wine, write blog, work on novel, walk dog, bed and sleep is tonights plan.

My Dad always brought me up to believe that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Skip it and the resultant dip in your blood sugar really mucks you around. Experience has taught me that this is very true. Every time I’ve tried to go without I’ve gotten really cranky and bad tempered, it’s been difficult to concentrate and my normal sunny disposition has dropped down a black hole, with predictable knock on effects. Ergo, breakfast gets special treatment, and just scarfing down a bowl of cereal and milk just won’t cut it. It helps that I’m an early morning kind of person anyway.

Tomorrow will be similar, but I’ve managed to blag some cheapish Ardennes pâté which will be stuffed into some celery sticks for a change of flavour. In keeping with my diet, anything with a high carbohydrate count is definitely off the menu. Bread, pasta, cereals, rice, cakes, sugar, all that stuff is a dietary no-no. It seems to be working as my waistline is definitely receding. At this rate I’ll need a new uniform issue by the end of August.

The weather forecast promises rain and thunder tonight and temperatures almost ten Celsius lower than they have been by tomorrow. Next time there’s a heat wave I want to be in a nice big cool server room with the aircon cranked up on full. Maybe one of those big data centres might have a job for a mature IT Engineer down on his luck. Knowing my luck - probably not.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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