Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Notes from Bromsgrove cont.....

Of Pony Pooh and Spiders, August 21st 2007



Walking along an English country lane has its hazards, especially if you are listening to your music. I had to leap into the grass verge several times while on the way to fetch the daily paper as pedestrians are fair game for drivers who, like drivers everywhere, are always in a mad hurry. Once I landed in sopping wet pony pooh which seeped immediately through the holes in my crocs. The lanes are so narrow that canopies of trees form wetly over the road, meeting in the middle and hedgerows are vertical and this August, muddy. Cars must pass each other however, and to this end, the lanes have been widened every now and again. Local manners dictate who reverses and this works well unless drivers are in a bad mood or can’t work out who is nearest to the passing place. Then a glaring match ensues and eventually the weaker spirit backs down and may have to reverse a couple of hundred metres. At my brother’s house, I encountered the biggest spider ever. Surely the size of a tarantula but legs were thinner. I have never seen a spider so big in all my 30 years in South Africa. I shall give that room a wide berth from now on!
I wish it would stop raining.


Last-Minuter, Late for the Ferry, August 21st 2007








On the phone, I asked my brother what books he had taken away for his annual read. He confessed that in the rush to get away he had left them behind and further that he had spent much of the journey down south on his cell phone to his insurance company as he had also forgotten to reinsure the house. Then already pushed for time, the family were diverted away from the M40 as there had been (incredibly) a murder on that stretch of it the day before and police were busy doing the CSI thing. (I personally can vouch for no less than 10 of them combing that piece of road - saw it on the news) They enjoyed the picturesque diversion through Stratford-on-Avon but with increasing anxiety as time marched on. They arrived at the ferry 5 minutes after the gate had closed, to be confronted by a uniformed official who would not allow them through because of their “inflexible cheap tickets!” . However, a further look at their anguished faces and the two boys fighting in the back seat must have melted him somewhat and he made an exception. The irony was that the ferry was in the end 25 minutes late departing and any number of cars were allowed through for the next 20 minutes.


Mental Pedometer, August 21st 2007










I heard that to lose weight you have to walk 10,000 steps a day in combination with whatever diet. So I thought I would count the steps it takes to walk up to the shop and back (3.4 kms.), but found that all that goes on - from birdsong to passing cars and having to duck to avoid being wiped out by the side mirrors of a particularly wide lorry on this narrow country lane - is too distracting. Try as I might, I would get to 130 or even 249 and then forget which hundred I was on, so I gave up. Just don’t have the mental discipline and don’t need it. After all, I have counted steps while on the treadmill at the gym. Just counted for 1 minute and ‘did the Math.’ So I in fact know that I walk 2,300 steps in 20 minutes,that makes 4,600 for my total walk. How on earth do people make up the rest? I couldn’t possibly do all that on the treadmill. The TV at the gym in not that interesting and I don’t know how to load new stuff onto my MP3 player. I have requested the cooking programme because I go at lunchtime when the gym is virtually empty, but they said they can’t get that channel, only sport and CNN, cartoons, pop music and Sky news - on a good day. Not good enough for me. Perhaps I’ll have to get a pedometer out of curiosity just to see if running around doing the housework does it for me. (I suspect not.)

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