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Medicinal discovery

It moves in mighty leaps

It leapt straight past the common cold

And give it us for keeps

Pam Ayres

Gym Music

Usually the music piped into the gym changing rooms is plinky plonky calming piano or orchestra stuff.  However today we had in the following order:

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (presumably exercise motivation)

Staying Alive (presumably for after the heart attack)

Spirit In The Sky (presumably you don’t stay alive)

Dancing Queen (presumably for the funeral guests,  or life in Heaven)


Gym Talk

I was tempted to repeat my gym changing room sign photo (see below) due to the delightful responses it received but my priority here is for safe entertainment and not to choke readers on their coffee.

Yesterday I was treated to a fascinating demonstration of feet drying with a hairdryer.  It shamed my own yoga position efforts

I try and swim about three times a week, and one expenditure I am clinging onto with dear life is my gym membership fee because it has an excellent 25m swimming pool which is usually fairly quiet and swimming keeps me calm and sane.  And more to the point there are NO CHILDREN.

In the past I have always gone swimming at the gym after work: around 6/7pm.  I noticed that conversations in the men’s changing room (I keep myself to myself and do anything to avoid verbal interaction with those around me) always tended to focus on football or the physical activity that has just been completed/is about to be started.

Now I have more time on my hands I start the day swimming, so am usually there between 9/10am.  I have noticed that conversations at this time tend to focus on hip and knee replacement operations.

Never Go To Bed Angry

Stay awake all night and plot your revenge.


Democracy is the form of society devised and maintained by those who know they don’t know everything.

Albert Camus

Waterstones Promotion

Waterstones – buy here!

I am way behind on my book reviewing here, but I can recommend Sarah Millican’s How To Be Champion in this promotion which I am reading on and off, as it is a dip-into book.  I find her a very, very funny stand up comedian, and this book opens out her stand-up character (which very much seems to be”her”) onto wider and more serious issues in her life, and life in a broader context.  It’s making me laugh a lot, and it’s making me think which is an appealing mixture.

Actually you can’t do better than the audio version of her reading it herself:

How To Be Champion – audio


Life Update (quick)

I’ve a busy weekend and may have no more time to write, so for anyone who cares:

  • I’ve run out of money – completely
  • I’ve had a magazine article proposal accepted and will get small payment as long as I can get the three interviews it needs organised. My first paid writing for a long long time.
  • I was planning at this point to be doing some home tutoring but getting onto the books is like pulling teeth, which has buggered up my financial plans
  • I may have some ‘consultancy’ work. (That’s a word that covers a multitude of evils haha)
  • I’m taking part in a voluntary paid study – needs must and more on this later
  • I’m remarkably calm thanks to keeping a daily routine which involves exercise, and some simple Mindfulness practice
  • I wasn’t calm when I got home from shopping today due (amongst other things) to a large Primary school trip in the supermarket and a tiny baby in an enormous buggy on the bus
  • I’m listening to an Audible Original: Six Degrees of Assassination.  One of the most gripping things I have heard for a long time.  Full review when I have finished
  • I love Bargain Hunt and Strictly and would happily take part in either if anyone is asking
  • I can’t tell you how glad I am that Halloween is over
  • Bonfire Night is now like a week of living in a war zone
  • I’m locked horns in battle with the cat (that’s not her pictured)

Now, back to the kitchen.  I get so tense cooking my shoulders hurt.  If I went on Masterchef I think I would collapse.

The Butterfly Effect

This is a Podcast review.  It’s on Audible, though I believe extending to iTunes.  It’s by Jon Ronson, whom I think has become a very perceptive and sympathetic writer and broadcaster.  I say sympathetic because the last podcast I listened to, S- Town, left me morally uncomfortable despite its gripping exposure of the dark underbelly of an American town held me in its thrall throughout.

I think the beauty of the Podcast – well, I would say Radio because

Read more

Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts Book Cover Balancing Acts
Nicholas Hytner
Jonathan Cape

This book is partly a book about business.   It may be the business of  theatre but it's business nevertheless.  It tells of Hytner's 12 years running the National Theatre.  The reason his time was so successful there was because of his harmonious and necessary relationship with his business partner Nick Starr.  Although broadly the former was Mr Arts and the latter Mr Money, they understood each other implicitly.  It is a fascinating balancing act and really makes you understand how incredibly difficult it is to make theatre a successful business without losing its integrity.  But business is business in whatever field and because theatre is my interest, this book gave me a business insight I previously would have expressed no interest in.

Also if you have no interest in theatre as an art form, Hytner is such an engaging writer that I think the book is worth a go. He really knows his stuff.  He is very insightful on his own directing and productions and there's a lot to learn from him - you don't need to know much about the subject to enjoy his writings

What it isn't is a gossipy showbiz book, or an insight into Hytner as a person.  But it's an easy read: he is funny, charming and modest (not self-effacing).  He owns up to mistakes and explains how he learnt from them.  If theatre is a mirror of life, then there is much to learn from this book.

Big Head

Sometimes even I can’t believe how good my photos are.