Monday, 14 March 2011

Time and Tide

Time and tide wait for no man, but when that man is sipping Prosecco for breakfast, he’s happy to let time jog on ahead, and has never had a problem with getting his feet wet.
Yes the day has finally arrived, today is my birthday, and I am forty.
But I have decided to embrace this day, embrace it like an elderly great aunt, with a hairy top lip who is trying to give you a slobbery kiss, firmly with both hands, as it can’t be avoided, has to be done, and secretly you are actually quite fond of her, as she was a bit of looker when she was younger.
So as of today the faultysomething project officially begins, and I write now before the fizzy wine kicks in, as writing this blog whilst tipsy, would be like giving a five year old a loaded gun, only with slightly more humorous results. I intend on enjoying today, and heartfelt thanks to those who have wished me well today – methinks the words tomorrow and well, will not be used in the same sentence!
The streets of London will be ‘sausage’ free, as there will be no cycling today, instead I’m being taken for a meal at a Jamie Oliver restaurant for lunch (maybe he’ll offer me a job in his new school, teaching the kids how to get served underage in Threasher’s), then off to the theatre , so no danger I can get myself into any trouble.......ah, who am I kidding, I could get into trouble locked in a nunnery with a box of wine gums!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Too Cool for Kew?

Is enjoying Kew Gardens a sign of accepting the fact that I’m getting old? Shouldn’t I be flicking through tattoo magazines, torn between the flaming skull and the Celtic symbols to cover my right shoulder? Or thinking about which Harley to buy, as I do yet another line of coke of the flat stomach of beautiful and expensive hooker, to sate my mini mid-life, instead I find myself saying “Hmmm, I didn’t realise rose bushes could grow this big....” and take yet another picture of a plant. Years ago all I would have been thinking, when looking at a plant was whether I could smoke it or not, mind you, I have always been fond of bushes.......
But I do Kew a disservice, I wasn’t dragged there kicking and screaming this weekend, and I genuinely enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful, calm place, and I had a youthful chuckle whilst taking a photo of cacti that looked like a bunch of green penises, but I’m easily pleased, by silly photos, not green penises.
It was afterwards sat in a lovely chilled out pub in Richmond, having an ale, that it struck me that there was a time when a day out in Kew would had been the last thing I would have wanted to do on a Saturday, unless I was trying to come across all mature and cultured in order to get a pretty girl naked. Have I given up the ghost, slipped into the dark night of middle age without a fight?
I have also noticed certain signs that I’m getting older. I need to put on my glasses to read the scales, I tried squatting down to look, but it just makes the wheel spin round so it appears I’m even heavier, and me squatting naked on scales, hairy belly sticking out, squinting at the reading, swearing and saying “that can’t be right!” isn’t a good’re imagining it now aren’t you.
And my eyebrows! They seem to have a life of their own, I wake up with tousled eyebrows, crazy eyebrows, eyebrows you can run your fingers through, that have to be cut and beaten down, to stop me looking like David Hemmings from Last Orders!
At a recent doctor’s appointment I mentioned that the circle of lies that is my BMI calculator, showed I was overweight, he helpfully said muscle is heavier than fat which could give a false reading, but when I mentioned I hadn’t really exercised for six weeks, he said that the chances of a false reading were slim, unlike me.
All these self pitiful thoughts and observations could of course be because of the fact that am I only days away from hitting the big 4-0.
On a positive note, I am still cycling to work, and my times are improving, and as I stride manfully and sweating, in my cycling gear, through the office, I like to think the girls in the office are thinking, “Hey, he’s in good shape for his age” or “When did George Clooney start working in our building” and not “Blimey our bike courier service has really gone down hill......”

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I don't look good in leggings.....

There’s no easy or gentle way to say it, I do not look good in leggings, in fact when discussing how I look in my black lycra winter cycling gear, the term big black sausage was used, but used to describe my entire body shape, and not anything flattering about how my black cycling shorts fit me. Yet, despite my appearance, and the fact that it was pouring with rain, this Saturday morning, I set off for a full 5 mile circuit of my local park.
Part of this eagerness (or craziness) was that I awoke Saturday morning completely hangover free. Friday had been the end of a long, hard week at work, I was knackered, my poor girlfriend was at home with a bad cold, so I decided, for a change, I would head straight home, instead of the usual ‘quick five’ with mates, which normally ends in sambuca and a dirty kebab on the way home.
Well I say straight home, once I got to the train station I did find myself with 20 minutes to kill so I did venture into the Wetherspoons at Victoria, for a quick ale, it was Friday after all. Ah, the Wetherspoons at Victoria, not so much a pub, more a huge drinking trough for the great unwashed, where a man in suit is as rare as an ethnic face in a Abercrombie and Fitch magazine ad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pub snob, and have had many a welcome pint at this Wetherspoons, whilst waiting for the arrival of many a delayed train (or in some cases phantom delayed trains, but don’t tell the girlfriend) , they keep a good pint of IPA, and at under £3 a pint, it’s also most rude not to, but it’s not really somewhere I’d arrange to meet friends, well except the ones who like the smell of piss, you know who you are.
One pint does not a hangover make (don’t worry though I went shopping for one Saturday afternoon watching rugby, which was duly delivered Sunday morning) and my short and wet bike ride put me in mood to cycle into work this week, and begin my quest for fitness, and say goodbye to the Clarkson belt buckle overhang. 
I failed to do so Monday, these things can’t be rushed, but today, Tuesday, I managed it, a full 20 mile round trip, from leafy Surrey to mean streets of London. Up until Christmas I was cycling to work 3 or 4 days out of 5, and although I clearly haven’t lost my ability to swear loudly at my fellow road users, I found it hard going, but thoroughly enjoyable. I covered my modesty with a pair of baggy combat shorts, with the lyrca leggings underneath, which while comfortable and warm, did make me look like a bike courier that should have hung up his bicycle clips years ago. If you can imagine the old bike courier that no ones wants to use, he wears Iron Maiden t-shirts but not in a ironic way, tries to talk to the younger courier’s about fix wheel bikes, but the don’t like talking to him, so depressed, he leaves and forms his own bike courier company called, ‘Slow but Steady’, well that’s what I look like.  
I’m no Lance Armstrong, and the only way I’ll be sporty yellow on my bike is when my liver finally gives up the ghost, but I made the trips in a decent time, which I hope to improve on, and don’t seem to be aching too much this evening. I’ll cycle to work again tomorrow, and combine the evening journey with a trip to the gym....mind you, I did spot a bike rack near Wetherspoons......