Baba O’Riley

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Yesterday was a tough one for eating discipline, plus exercise. For the first time I can remember, there was a scrabble to find a snack before my scheduled class: I was light-headed. It would have been a struggle to do 55 minutes without it. As it transpired, by the end of the class, there was not a part of me that did not hurt.


The killer, undoubtedly, was being pushed out of comfort zones: having to pick different weights for the strength portions of the workout, being asked to run on a 10% incline (I didn’t, walking was enough to kill both hips) and to spend approximately half the time lying on my back, exercising chest and core… there’s enough of an understanding now about these graphs to grasp that 75% effort from that is a massive bonus.

This however is not an exercise post. Today is about happiness, and how it feels to be out in the fields, watching the rest of the world around you throwing their toys out of ridiculously decorated prams, arguing about petty insignificances in their lives that somehow end up being so much more important than they need to be. There’s a lot of that going on in my corner of existence too. People forget what really matters.


I thought it would get harder as age advanced to separate what’s worthwhile and isn’t… except, it is getting easier. It’s really easy to be stupid, to act on your own desires ahead of common sense and considered reason. That’s what has caused so much trouble for me over the years, allowing obsessions to overtake reality. That’s what’s happening around me now, on Social media… people who should know better, losing their grip on reality.

Having dragged myself out of bed, to do the day despite feeling like body was broadsided by a truck, all of this boils down to choice. Nobody is making me eat this cleanly except… well, me, and it would have been easy to not attend last night’s exercise class. 18 people were booked, only 12 showed. All these decisions are based on the realisation that even on shitty days when everything hurts, this path is worth walking regardless.

Back it comes to principles and ethics, every time, that innate sense that whatever happens, more than at any point before humanity requires a moral compass that is unshakeable. It’s why attacks on free speech matter just as much as those using fake news to try and sway the unsuspecting. This isn’t just innocence or ignorance that needs to be addressed either: smart people are being stupid. We should not facilitate this.

That means, on any given day, making sure I don’t retweet the people being stupid but simply comment on them. It demands I look for voices of reason and objectivity, because from them comes the means by which we can be set free of our own restrictive and often damaging thinking. To reinvent ourselves in the modern world is an absolute requirement: it needs to take place, often on a daily basis.

True happiness does not manifest without considerable personal effort.

Memories of Green

The cultivation of my Happy Place continues apace, and this weekend there’ll be some more visits to Garden Centres to see what else can be added to the space. The plan on Saturday is to clear out what passes for our tool store and chuck out/recycle all the rubbish within, and then see what other stuff is missing. Then, I hope to get a new recliner and spend some time outside, reading. That will be happening using real books, and none of this Kindle rubbish. There is no objection to electronic reading, oh no, but spending far too much time staring at screens already demands the use of physical media.


It really helps that this weekend will be the best weather for a while, though to be honest working outside continues to be a joy I’d not expected to appreciate as much as is now the case. It is about getting away from the normal run of words and responsibilities, to find a space where all that matters is relaxation and calm. These are the things that need work in life, and there is every intention to capitalise on the free time whenever it occurs.

Bring on the Bank Holiday Weekend.

No One Knows


Hey, it’s Saturday. I’m first up, even though I could stay in bed, and after this cuppa I’m walking to the Gym. I’d love to say I have some amazing glob of wisdom to impart before I leave but I’m just keen to go exercise and then relax with a green tea in the Bar. In fact, if I’m honest, there’s nothing much bothering me at all today. I know what needs to be done, have a list of things to finish, but apart from that I am comfortable, relaxed and happy.

So, if you will excuse me, I’ll be getting on with my day.

Moving on Up

Day Three of my bullet-sized antibiotics and I can most definitely state an improvement in both mental and physical health. Yes, there was still coughing in the night and I had to sleep with a pillow mountain to keep myself upright but otherwise, a distinct shift forward in recovery. At least part of that movement was due to a sports massage which I dragged myself in for yesterday, and which proved to be the biggest revelation of all. I though that lying on my front would be impossible, but as my masseuse pointed out, there’s less surface area of lung under pressure than being on your back. The amount of crap that came out of my lungs afterwards, and the two hours sleep I then managed as a result have been instrumental in recovery.

That means today I will be going for a PT session, though I suspect cardio is out of the window. It does mean I will be doing SOMETHING: the lack of physical exertion has been real cause for concern, as it is now a week since I did anything of note. I’m looking at the subzero temperatures however and deciding, at least until I’m fully recovered, that I will not be walking to the Gym. It is proper taters out there, and so I can remember this for future reference, that means COLD. I went and checked on the Internets: taters (potatoes in the mould) is a reference to the time when potatoes were buried in a heap to protect against frosts like these. There was a lot of Cockney rhyming slang in my youth, and this is one piece I’d like to maintain.

This therefore is your reminder that yup, I’m alive and improving, and some actual content might break out here in the next few days. Carry on.

Learning to Breathe :: It’s Not the First Mile

The plan was simple after Monday’s benchmark 1k: it had to be beaten. This was not about just saying I could do it and that is it. I have to get better or else there’s no point, after all, and as I exercised my way through last week there was an understanding that once my brain and chest stopped fighting about who knew better, shit would just happen. It did too, with a speed that I found amazing and joyful simultaneously. Suddenly, thanks to the advice my PT had given over running style, my feet at times would feel as if they didn’t even touch the pavement. To not put too fine a point on it, I’d be walking on air. This is probably perfectly normal for all you people who’ve never had to think about putting one foot in front of the other, but I’m still sitting here in a state of revelation over how incredibly easy it has been to just beat the mental block. That’s what it was, pure and simple: you can’t do this because you’ll have an asthma attack/your body will break/the World will end has been a mantra for so long, but now it’s gone.

The fear has just evaporated.


Next up, having taken the benchmark, it is time to start beating new paths to improvement. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes from the youngest’s school to here, and that time can be improved: not by running to begin with, but with better walking as a starting point. Then, I’ll run sections. Wet roads and winter conditions are already a bit of a niggle in my brain, but we will get past that. What I’ve always done is approach my issues in stages: right now, morning energy levels are an issue. I can do 1k quickly and easily if I’m not worrying about anything else, but stamina remains an issue, so as long as I’m fuelling properly? I think I can take that time down quite a bit. Once I know I’m at the limit of walking pace? Then the run sections can be added, and whilst that happens I’ll work on the ‘static’ mile time. Yesterday I did an evening walk and knew, had I felt like it, I could have run it with ease. To test this was the case, I went into the Gym this morning and did a mile pretty much cold.

I took TWENTY SECONDS off the time I posted a week ago, and it was as if I was a completely different person. No stress or worry, no concern over breathing, it all just happened with a comfort and grace I don’t think I’ve ever possessed before. I stopped worrying, and it all just happened. I realise every day won’t be a PB (Personal Best) if I don’t feel I can push, but right now there’s the belief I’ve got a lot in the tank that could mean I’m shaving seconds off this for some time. That’s also a revelation: knowing my legs have the power and my chest is now capable of backing that up. It’s a feeling that will make me smile every time I recall the ease at which that kilometre was completed. Everything connected in my brain. My body did the business. I sat and had celebratory poached eggs on toast with the full knowledge that the only way now is better and forward.

I’ve not been this happy for a VERY long time.

Alphabet Street

I’m not very good at building my part up on most days, but when it comes to entertainment? I think I’m FUCKING FABULOUS. Mostly this is because nobody else is going to have the belief that you’re writing a good story, and if all this time and effort’s going to be shoved summarily into words? You really need to believe your own hype. The only time this falls down is when you present something unannounced, and that’s why I will now be eternally grateful to the people who read my stuff before it becomes common knowledge to the whole damn world. I’ve come to believe the friends who tell me that I can string not only a decent sentence together, but that I can create a compelling narrative, and that actually this matters quite a bit. After that, you just have to keep picking different sets of words. That’s the theory, anyway.


Proving your worth however, at least for me, is of limited interest right now. A lot of the time I just do this for self-gratification, to get the stories out of my brain, and don’t really care that much who else reads them. YES OF COURSE I’d love to have a wider audience, but who wouldn’t for ANYTHING AT ALL. Whether you’re crocheting cats or designing sculptures or even building space rockets the dream often isn’t what you want, its that desire that some random stranger comes up to you and goes ‘coo, that’s ace that is’ because random validation is the best. It’s also potentially the way to destroy your confidence and make you hide in a corner, so there’s two sides of the coin to consider. I’ll be honest, mostly I’m here just to make the stories work and to entertain a few friends in the process. I find it hard to believe anyone would be interested beyond that. So, I’m on the wish fulfilment train here, and actually everything is going swimmingly.

I think that officially makes today a Good Day (TM)


Part of my health routine, as the weather has progressively improved over the last few weeks, has been to walk to my Gym from the house rather than drive. It’s approximately 20 minutes on foot at a reasonable pace, and what this allows me to do is stick in a gentle warm up before I go mad. It also allows me to watch the world shrugging off the constraints of what has been a quite painful Winter, although (again) sadly we have seen no snow. The estuary climate does not seem to like the idea of dumping frozen water on us from the sky, but temperatures have been, it must be said, fairly brisk in recent weeks. However today, it was genuinely glorious both to and from, and I can see a time where I’ll not only be able to lose the gloves and snood, but the coat will be redundant too.

Spring is most definitely on the way.


I got on the scales this morning and was the same weight as I was when I last did this. Considering what’s been consumed in the intervening period, this is something of an achievement. I’m not knocking it, my plan to not eat until AFTER I exercise in the morning appears to be bearing fruit, and I do feel a lot better overall. More importantly I am sleeping for longer and without interruption, so all told I don’t want to stop what appears to be developing into a winning formula. I have a day off tomorrow, but I’ll be back to it on Saturday. I think I might even skip the lie in and go early if the weather is as good as this.

It’s true what they say about sunshine transforming your outlook. I’m looking forward to longer days and more energy, and I’m intending to make the most of both.


I’m largely arse about face this week, mostly because I’ve pushed the priority set around in an attempt to reorganise the way stuff happens. That means I’ve not written personal posts until much later, and I can now see how things would use to get away from me in the past. It’s taken a real effort to get my brain to focus on being honest, and that’s a shame, because these introspective posts are serving a rather vital function for my subconscious. Trying to keep the work/life/soul balance together is something a lot of normal people struggle with, after all. I just happen to turn up with a bit of extra baggage dragging along behind me.

Today, however, has been enormously productive. I’ve got the next few month’s worth of ‘work’ posts organised, a new opportunity has arisen that I’m really very excited about and tomorrow I plan not only to morning Gym and breakfast (which was hugely successful on Monday) but write the two articles for the Community Project I’m a part of. On top of that? The Bond vanity project’s moving along apace, plus there’s the old Fantasy Behemoth resurrected, and once we get into next week and the pressure is off a bit on real life stuffs, I can get back into my Novel. It’s not like I’m ever going to be lost for work, and I’m actually quite pleased at this, because then my brain doesn’t have the chance to start going backwards.


I went to the Doctor yesterday, and now have drugs in the event of a repeat of the last episode of Crimson Tide. I’ve also got a contact inside my Surgery for any further ‘women’s issues’ should they occur. Mostly, I feel better generally about sorting my life out, and my Doctor not immediately suggesting I take HRT as a matter of course. I’m taking a much needed ‘light exercise day’ too, just so I can get the domestic side of things finally sorted.

I have nothing bad to say about anyone today. I’m in a really good mood.

I could do with more days like these.