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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Health by force!

Some things you never forget

The riding of a bike to the leisure centre should not be a big thing.  And it wasn’t.  But it wasn’t nothing either.
            I have studiously ignored my bike for well over a year and, tucked away as it was, it was easy to overlook.  I did wonder about the waste of money that the thing as turning out to be – but that was easier than riding the damn thing.
            The fiasco of tree cutting and car park shutting that now defines the leisure centre necessitated the, for me, extreme action of cleaning the bike and blowing up the tyres with a view to using it.
            Apart from some corrosion on the chrome, it cleaned up fairly easily and even getting the tyres to something like the right pressure was not quite as onerous as I remembered it.  So, with weak determination and a sinking heart I set off this rather dull morning and wobbled my way towards a main road.
            Although I felt somewhat self-conscious in the absurd hat that one is required to wear these days, I got back to my past level of uncertain incompetence on the machine is short order.
            I spurned the hills and walked them – a direct result of following my father’s wisdom of, “If it’s easier to walk you bike than ride – walk!”  So I did.  When I told Toni of this strategy of mine his response was, “What hills?”  We obviously have very different inbuilt gyroscopes!
            When I got to the centre there was all the palaver of putting the bike in its metal thingies, then using the lock to secure it (remembering this time to turn the numbers on the combination!) getting the bag from the back of the bike – I know it all sounds really petty, but when you are used to pointing a bit of plastic at the car and having it lock while simply picking up the sports bag, it does seem unnecessary.
            Well, I got everything sorted and found the helmet thing a nuisance as well, as it didn’t fit easily in the bag and then it was too large for . . . perhaps I am making too much about this, but it was different and it broke the routine.  I didn’t like it.
            The post-swim offered me a choice.  I could go home and then take the car to get the lunch, or I could cycle to the centre of Castelldefels and bring the lunch home on the bike.
            After a moment’s hesitation I decided to throw caution to the wind and espouse the cause of exercise and bike it!
            It was a bloody sight further than I thought and I am now possessed of a homicidal zeal against pedestrians who walk in cycle lanes.  I am thinking of fitting Boudicca-like blades to the hubs of my wheels for cleansing purposes!
            I don’t know, perhaps it’s all psychological, but I fancy that lunch tasted better because I inched fractionally nearer the hunter/gatherer idea of food providing rather than simply going to get it by car!
            The euphoria of unaccustomed exercise lasted right up until I realized that I would have to do the same thing tomorrow and for the next month.
            And before anyone suggests it, I do not think for a moment that I am going to be the sort of person who, after a month of using the bike will say that he couldn’t imagine reverting to the car again and that it had been a life changing experience.  No chance.

Why are poems never easy!

The poems, if not the note taking, have degenerated to doodles on otherwise perfectly nice pieces of paper, or more positively of lines of nothing approaching verse being scribbled out.  I am convinced that I have some good ideas, but the words are not working at the moment.
            With that glowing testimony to my poetic ability, I urge you to see what I have written recently at http://smrnewpoems.blogspot.com.es and I hope that there will be something more added to that collection by the end of the week.

United Nations Day 2015

A few phone calls today about The Meal & Celebrations.  It’s only March and preparations are being made.  I think that I am going to have months of pleasure out of the arrangements for United Nations Day this year; what with visitors, menu planning and publication of the book.
            I am already looking forward to the collection of friends who will be here in Castelldefels this year and I am determined to give them as good a time as it is possible to imagine.
            One particular piece of planning also calls for the design of labels, but after lengthy discussions between Toni and myself we have decided on two important words to be printed on them!  This is one piece of travelling to Castelldefels that I can guarantee that my visitors will not be expecting!

            When I tried to discuss the menu with the owner of the restaurant where we will be going he evinced a particularly Spanish aversion to forward planning on the time scale to which I was working!  We have had to relax and believe that everything will only come together well in this country if you leave things until almost the last minute.  I have no intention whatsoever of doing that and will start a stealth planning campaign to keep my sanity!
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