Sunday, 18 November 2012
According to the late, and most definitely great, Andy Williams, 'it's the most wonderful time of the year'. I tend to agree. I'm already scrabbling through boxes for left over wrapping paper from days of yore. The stuff that used to cost 2p a sheet on Chesterfield market and was a homage to Victorian carriages with headless drivers. That sort of thing. There's the first version of the Christmas cake (a surprising success), a Christmas card list (how many names can I take the red marker pen to this year) and the prospect of turfing the lawnmower and garden implements out of the shed in the search for the decorations.
Saturday, 3 November 2012
It's a hard life - so why make it harder? Why, I keep asking myself, do Id rag myself out of the house at 6 a.m. several days a week, in order to torture my ageing frame. Why? The gymnasium is calling ...
Situated in London's Square Mile, it's hardly the most congenial of places. The very nature of the gym is that everyone goes about their business in po-faced silence, me included. My fellow gym buddies are a mixed bunch. There is the parade of tiny-waisted, hard-faced east European women, pounding the treadmill in a worrying fashion. There is always some ridiculous bint with her hair piles on top of her head, like a peroxide nest, stood beneath the "No mobile phones" sign, bellowing into her mobile phone - "Yes it's me! That's right, me. Look at me. LOOK AT ME NOW!"
The blokes are usually something else too. Many feel the need to parade around in their corporate t-shirts. "I work in derivatives and I'm a bit tedious" is what the narrative should read, preferably decked out in neon. Then there are the muscle marys, that pumped up breed who groan and shout their way through a set of bench presses. Fear them for they are in love with themselves.
Of course, I could always ask the staff for help. Some of them can string together sentences but most of them spend the morning craftily lifting their tops in order to admire their six packs. Or shouting. "Come on! Come on! Lift those legs up!" they scream at some hapless futures manager who's bobbing around in a river of his own sweat. The receptionists remain glass-eyed in a Stepford kind of way. There is always the temptation to throw a bucket of water over them just to see them fuse.