Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I set myself a completely unrealistic target today. I decided that I'd cycle into town (about 7 miles), lock up my bike at the station and then get the train into Manchester. I had a route planned in my head which I'd convinced myself was more or less downhill. Plus, I'd planned to avoid the uphill slog home by catching a local train connection to the station in the next village.

Well, I set off and got less than a mile before the huffing, puffing and the sheer negativity generated by such a relatively modest degree of exercise had got the better of me. I returned home a mess. Now, I do need to lose a few pounds and am not aversed to exercise, I need to get my heart rate up 4 or 5 times a week, but I didn't need to put my heart monitor on to know that the exertion required to coax a mountain bike up and down the pennine terrain was likely to kill me.

I grew up near the seaside and used my bike every single day, riding for miles. But it was all flat! Round here, cycling is an absolute nightmare. You seem to hit an instant wall of self-hate well before any exercise generated endorphins deliver a wave of positivity and euphoria. So the bike's back in the garage. Indefinitely.

By the way, I'd psyched myself up to enjoying a nice train journey avec book and iPod only to be robbed of that by a combination of my own inadequacy and millions of years of volcanic activity rendering the local area a uncyclable(!), by me at least. Therefore, having failed to help myself but determined to help the environment, I drove to the next village to get the train and couldn't get a parking space for love nor money, so instead I spent my usual unproductive hour driving myself and no-one else over the tops and over the top.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I saw an article in the paper at the weekend about Timothy Ferriss, who's book 'The Four Hour Work Week' is a runaway success in the USA and is about to land in the UK with attendant promotional hype.

I'm kind of intrigued by the concept of prioritising and outsourcing your activities to the extent that you need only work four hours per week. However, I'm not sure that ramping up my current workload to that extreme would be good for my blood pressure. Which reminds me. The doc's still on at me about a lifestyle change to get my BP down, so today I went and got myself hypnotised in order to stop eating junk. It's working really well so far, although you can take that with half a pinch of lo-salt as I am on a bit of a rush after a Tunnock's caramel wafer.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I'm working from home today, which means that I was up dead early in my jimmys crafting a presentation which I'm due to deliver in a couple of weeks, but which needs to be submitted today.

After that, I snuck out to B&Q to return the two excess bags of bark chippings which were surplus to requirements when I was working from home yesterday and covering the garden with the stuff. Then I whipped into Comet for a new iron as our previous one died mid-shirt last night. Now, irons. You can literally spend anything from £3.96 to £396.00 on an iron. Plus the latest thing seems to be a steam generator, which looks something like a normal iron sitting on top of a 1st Generation iMac. I plumped for a generic pink Phillips at £24.99... allegedly half price.

After a decent lunch here I'm now listening to the third Collings and Herrin podcast. I'm working through them in order to catch up. To be honest, they are not so great but it may be because the ones I'm listening to are a few weeks out of date. I listened to the Stephen Fry Podcasts the other day too. The first was very odd and rambly, recorded just after he'd broken his arm whilst filming in South America. The second was an overly scripted rant against dancing and Brits who think American's don't get irony. This rush to podcasting is thrusting people into full-on Prince-style quality v quantity territory. However, they do help me get to sleep.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Tottering through WHSmith yesterday I did a double-take whilst walking through the books department. They have a section called Paranormal Romance, stuffed with paperbacks sporting dark, mysterious and vaguely gothic looking women on their covers.

Intrigued, I spent the next few minutes for other new categories. I was particularly interested in Psychedelic Business Studies or Ergonomic Crime, but not there I'm afraid.