If Heather ever becomes famous she will not be requiring a personal manager/trainer, her electronic “Jawbone” performs this function perfectly satisfactorily without any need for human intervention. I’m used to such random statements as, “I’ve done 4,000 steps today; yesterday I did 5,654, so I’ll have to walk around the block for another 1,654. I won’t be long.” Then there’s, “I slept 9 hours and 50 minutes last night, I woke up twice, once for three minutes and then again for two minutes, and 95 minutes of the total was light sleep, but I’m not sure if that’s right or not because I don’t remember any light sleep at all.”
Heather arrived home a fortnight ago looking somewhat furtive, so I gathered that there was something in the air, and that it probably involved expenditure of some magnitude. I’m usually right when it comes to these situations, and I never pass comment because I know that sooner, rather than later, she will not be able to contain herself and will have to tell me about whatever it is she’s doing. The last time she behaved in this way it was because she’d forked out a considerable sum of money on a set of DVD’s called Insanity. These are DVD’s akin to the old Green Goddess/Jane Fonda workouts, only they cost twenty times more, and instead of Jane in her leotard, you’ve got a bloke called Shaun who constantly urges us to, “Go take your recovery formula.” Each workout takes 45 minutes (not including the stops for your recovery formula) and involves the setting aside of furniture, prancing about a lot getting hot and sweaty, and upsetting the cat.
So anyway, back to a fortnight ago. I knew there was something afoot when Heather started the conversation thus; “I don’t want you taking the ****, if you do I will be very annoyed with you. I have bought something which I’m going to do, and I am taking it seriously, and I don’t want to hear a word.”
“And by the way it was a hundred quid.”
She has her own job earning her own money, and I certainly don’t tell her what to do with it, but it does seem a bit exorbitant, paying £100 not to eat anything for nine days. I mean, you could simply not pay the £100, and not eat anything either, or so I would have thought. Not that I know anything, and I have more sense than to voice such thoughts, so I just keep quiet (ish). The regime is called Clean 9, and like so many of these crazes, it’s something you’ve never heard of, but when one person you know begins doing it, your life becomes flooded with people joining in. Clean 9 came in a very big box, consisting of milk shakes, a lot of pills, and a foul-smelling liquid that participants have to drink. There’s still some left if anyone wants their outside drains cleaning.
Over the course of the nine days Heather lost 8lb, or, put another way, £108lb. It undoubtedly worked, but tonight we are returning to a method much more traditional and pleasant, Tracey’s Ryton Slimming World at the Masonic Hall on Blackhouse Lane. Tracey’s group provides good ideas, great company, gold stars, stickers, mugs and fridge magnets. I’ve really got to lose a few pounds, about 40 of them in fact, so I am re-joining tonight and I’m committing myself to letting you know how I get on. Speaking of getting on with things, I can now stop and dismount my bike without taking a detour via the hedge, and I can go down hills, so long as they are gentle. As soon as I’ve mastered other skills, such as corners, I will tell you.
My retirement rattles ever nearer, and in anticipation of my lump sum we’ve been getting ourselves one or two treats. One of them being season tickets to see Gateshead FC. We spent this final Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas, taking in two very different football matches. The first one was seeing Arsenal (who I support) beat Newcastle at St. Jame’s Park in a game of controversial decisions. Then yesterday afternoon it was The Heed at Gateshead International Stadium against Lincoln City. I love watching Gateshead ten times more than I do Premiership teams. It’s more exciting and better value for money, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead. I have also asked to become a volunteer at the Ryton Community Library. A gentleman called Dane has kindly responded to my email, and made arrangements to speak to me again later on this month. The closure of Ryton Library meant the loss of a valuable resource, not just a place to borrow books, but denying us a community hub. I’ve heard more than one person say that they will not support the community library because jobs were axed. This may be true, but failure to support the small, but well stocked replacement, isn’t going to get anyone reinstated unfortunately.