I came by a jawbone for my birthday. It's a classy piece of tech that's for sure. It sits quietly on your wrist like a bracelet (because that's what it is) and does the job of both of those pesky angels/demons that live on your shoulder telling you what's good and what's not. Luckily, it only deals with physical things like exercise, sleeping and eating otherwise we'd be in some serious quicksand.
I wasn't sure about it at first. I am the worst person in the world for being told what to do but it turns out we get along just fine. And I think we get along because somewhere inside, I know I need to take better care of myself. I'm too old to die young and too young to die, so it makes some kind of sense that I get my head around it. Here's how it works: you tell it how active you want to be in a day, how much sleep you want to get and if you're in the mood for losing weight, you can plot that in too and it will help you figure out some better choices than you have been making.
I looked at what the rest of the world was clocking in at with their number of steps over a typical day and added 2000 because the rest of the world is normally inherently lazy. The average (and recommended) number of steps for being an 'active person' per day is 10,000, so I figured 12,000 wouldn't require much extra effort. I'd never stopped to think about it before. Back in the day when I used to sit at a desk all day long, I probably did about 400 - and half of those would have been to the car. 12,000 is pretty hard when you haven't got a secret weapon called Hector but walking him three times a day, I'm clocking up about seven miles on a normal day simply from taking care of him.
Sleep-wise, I also looked at what the rest of the world did and then reduced it by two hours. So, the average person seems to like eight hours but I can get by quite well on six - and if I stay in bed any longer than that, I tend to drop off the edge and sleep forever. I haven't quite mastered the food part of the log yet. I can do breakfast and lunch really well with fruit, water, soup... all good things that put me in a good place - I can even make it through dinner with something as cool as an omelette with mushroom and peppers.
As soon as the night falls though, the rock kicks in the roll and the chocolate demon comes out to play... and the chocolate demon is very much in charge. If I can catch the bastard, I might stand some kind of chance of losing this last eight pounds that are hanging around. For the record, since Hector has been around - which is just over a year - I've lost a 16 pounds doing nothing other than taking him out.
If you need some help getting your shit together, aside from a jawbone, get a dog. Not only do they like going out regardless of the weather, they're also good to share your food with, so you eat slightly less by osmosis. Make sure you get a dog that takes no crap about the weather outside too. There are enough fat dogs out there already. A good working breed is hard work but worth it, and don't forget - a dog is for life and not just for carrying around in your bag like a fashion statement.
If I can figure out a way of getting my knees working like real knees again without having to resort to surgery or pills, I'd also like to get back to a new martial art but I'm not holding my breath over it.
Still, at least I have all my hair.
I meant to do a lot writing during the Big Digital Switch-Off, but I didn't. In fact, I wrote not one single word. I had good reasons. One of those reasons was to reduce the number of books around the house. Somewhere in the annals of this blog, there will be a long post from years ago about how I have figured out that if you have more then ten possessions, you have too much stuff.
Anyway, I have been avoiding the book purge for far too long. I'm caught between a rock and hard place with it. I love books and I love having them around me, but there are too many. I look at them sitting there on the shelf a lot and I guess I must find some kind of comfort in that. Maybe it takes me back to being a kid... maybe it's something else, but I will never read any of them twice so in the real world, they're nothing more than decoration no matter how much I love them. More importantly though, they have some kind of mysterious hold over me and I want to be free of it. Some of the spines, I like to listen to. Some of them have every right to say "you will never be as good as me" and that's good because there has to be high bar to aim for - but others, as much as I enjoyed them at the time, should not be saying the same thing, or more to the point, I should not be listening to them.
I had to figure out something, so I've been on a mission to divide them up into two worlds. Those that are staying - first editions, books by authors that inspire me and big art/coffee table books that have some value. In the other world, there are those that are going - fiction paperbacks mostly, but there are a lot of other things too that I've been hanging onto forever.
The fate of those leaving the house is unclear but the idea is to give them away, one at a time. Leave one on a train, hand one to somebody in the street - those kind of things so they have a life after me. It seems to be the right thing to do because I've finally figured out that books are for reading, not sitting on shelves. It's entirely possible that a book that's been sitting on a shelf too long is not even a book at all, but simply a bunch of paper bound in card.
Look, I can't even explain it properly because I don't understand it myself - just roll with it. Don't be surprised if you get a book pressed into your hand though if we bump into each other.
With that under control, the painting of the lounge almost finished and a bunch of other surface mess under control, I should write. So let's get it on - there's a lot of words been backed up over the last few weeks. We've got Tattoo Freeze on the boil next weekend and then I'm in Milan early February - somewhere in between the two of those, I promised myself I would finish something.
Talking of travel - I need to go here:
What's going on here? This:
When the roof of St George’s Church in the Czech Republic collapsed during a funeral service in 1968, local residents viewed the event as a bad omen and quickly abandoned the building. The church fell into a disused, abandoned state but this summer artist Jakub Hadrava was assigned the task of reviving the 14th century site. His piece contains hooded ghostly figures which line the church pews.
Jakub said: ‘I wanted to make the church more attractive for visitors and try to raise some money for renovation work. ‘The figures represent the ghosts of Sudeten Germans who lived in Lukova before World War Two and who came to pray at this church every Sunday. I hope to show the world that this place had a past and it was a normal part of everyday life, but that fate has a huge influence on our lives.’
The ghosts are made out of plaster and fill the pews and the aisle of the church, which was built in 1352.
...and now, you need to go too, right?