Bravecow

Commonwealth Games Busy

I've only actually been to two events, but I've been out almost every night doing Games-type things, like the Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow Green, the Merchant City, and a random stint in the studio audience for the BBC's guaranteed Scot-free late show. The buzz around the city is as good as everyone says.

I'm slightly narked by the BBC coverage - at times it does seem a Scot-free zone, which when broadcasting from Scotland seems a bit weird, and the commentary from our English friends can be a bit annoying. As tonight, when the commentator commented on how well the crowd at Hampden had taken to athletics - well obviously we'd never seen it before, or when the swimming commentator referred to the English relay team as the British squad. Lots and lots of little things, rather than any big ones.

A woman was also hustled out of the swimming venue tonight for having a (respectably sized) Yes saltire, which made me realise I could have had the same treatment for wearing my Yes t-shirt on Sunday. Apparently the rules do allow for advertising for a belief or policy, so the ejection was against the rules. And the rule about the only flags being permissible being those of competing nations seems to be being flouted in the case of the Union Jack - both as handed out by the Better Together campaign, and worn by the (English) track cycling team.

Little things, but they do all add up to a bad taste in what has been a wonderful dish to date. 
Dancing Ganesha

It came from above,,,

Having disposed of the plague of moths (better living through chemistry) I should have known that I was in line for another Biblical visitation. This one was another classic - flood. I think that's the fourth time upstairs has flooded my flat. I may be missing one or two out. This one was relatively minor - the hall cupboard was inundated, which meant all of the boxes and papers I had in there are gone, the newly painted hall needs redone, and I have the nightmare scenario of an already damp flat becoming more damp.

On the scale of things, not terrible, but it's knocked me out of my stride a little, which is not what I need this month. July is turning out to be a little busy. This weekend I have golf with my dad on Saturday, and Neil Gaiman in Edinburgh on Sunday. Next weekend is an athletics event at Hampden, and being a tour guide. Weekend after that is Tyree, then a weekend with nothing booked (apart from the Commonwealth Games lawn bowls: don't laugh) and then Jen and John arrive for Games and cottaging.

And THEN I'm at the refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand for three nights running, Steve Earle, The Waterboys, and Allison Moyet.

And then there's some sort of festival think on in Edinburgh.

The next two months might just blur a little, and I'm quite looking forward to that.

Onwards and upwards...
Dancing Ganesha

Where I Am

A topic with a lot of scope...

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the visit of HER friend, coming to see her for the first time since she's moved up here.

"So I'll need to take her to some of the local places. Oran Mor for cocktails. Stravaigan. The Chip. The Hanoi Bike Club. Oh, maybe she can come to the Bikram yoga place with me. Or jog in the Botanics. And Cottiers, of course, since that's my local. And what about Delizique?"

Which gave rise to two thoughts, one, how long is this visit supposed to be? And secondly, the furthest distance she'll have to walk to get to any of them is around half a mile. The same goes more or less for me, and I can add in the Corncrake, Chai Ovna, and quite a few others.

I do seem to be pretty well sited...

As evidence of which, last night I went to see Moishe's Bagel at Cottiers, as part of the West End Festival. They're pretty hard to classify, but they sound like this. When they're not sounding like something else.

http://youtu.be/N8FFNpqw-tY

Today I had a general wander, clocking up some more steps for my total (19,100 today). That meant walking into town, after walking around the West End. I picked up the Moth Nuker I wanted, and a copy of The Goldfinch, which for some reason I wanted as a physical book, not an ebook. I also picked up a shirt, a t-shirt and some trainers. None of which I needed, of course.

I had intended going to a whisky tasting in the University Union tonight, but they didn't have any tickets left. On a whim I went past Oran Mor, where Justin Currie was playing a long-sold out gig. Who knows, maybe there were returns? It turns out that they did, so I got to watch Mr Currie from a few feet away, for £20, instead of paying around £50 to watch him from the middle of the vast Hydro Arena.

Justin's songs, going back to Del Amitri, are amongst the few that can remind me of the break up before the break up before the break up before the break up before.

I'll admit, I cried twice, to "Tell Her This" and "Driving With the Brakes On". But I also bellowed my lungs out to those and half a dozen others. And strangely, even while I was crying to the song below I realised strangely, unexpectedly, and undeniably, that I am ready now to fall.

And that's where I am.

Dancing Ganesha

It's you or me, my little friends, and it's not going to be me...

I have moths.

To be fair, I've had moths for a long time, for years, but after the Last Great Battle of a few years back, I thought they were beat. I bought some hanging repellers to protect my wardrobes, and noted the odd one or two fluttering around at intervals. Tattered remnants, I thought, of a once-mighty foe. But no. The Next Great Battle is always The Last Great Battle, and they are back.

This time I have a slight advantage. I know where they're coming from. The cupboard with the tumble drier is their lair, and stage one of plan "Die, you filthy insect bastards, die, die, die!" is underway. My main weapon is the hoover. And some fly spray. I've used both of these, while I wait for delivery of the agent orange napalm moth spray from America. This stuff kills moths. Insects. Cockroaches. It kills Mothra. And attendant genetic damage? Don't bother me with trifles.

In other, non-moth related, news, I went to the doctor's today for the results of my blood tests. She positively beamed at me. Apparently my diabetic control is a much better, better than she would have expected from a month worth of diet and life style changes. My tan looks great. And the lost weight suits me.

OK, the tan I'm neither here nor there about, but the blood sugars are really quite impressive. So this is my new way of living...

I also got a bonus this month. It's tied in mysteriously to company performance, so it was at the lower end of what it could have been, but even after tax it will be about the equivalent of a month's salary, so I'm not about to complain (I strongly suspect, by the way, that when we talk about a bonus culture then the folk getting less than 4 week's salary don't really get thought of much. Just a thought).

The sun is shining, the grass is riz, the boid is on the wing - I'm off for a kir, and then an evening with Moishe's Bagel. You all have a fun weekend. 
Dancing Ganesha

Stats Are My Friends

Apparently in the last four weeks I've walked 172km, burned 45,277 kJ, and have an average daily step count of 12,838. So it's not surprising that I've lost some weight, and that I look a bit more toned.

There's a weekday logistics challenge here. Walking 5 miles a day takes up almost 2 hours. Typically I leave for work around seven, and get back 12 hours later. I like to sleep for at least 7 hours a night. Of the five hours remaining, I need at least half an hour to get ready in the morning, and there's time in there to eat dinner.

My trick at the moment is to park a mile from the office I'm working in, and try to get out for a 40 minute walk at lunchtime. It's not a perfect plan (typically that amounts to about 6-7k steps, leaving me a couple of miles to do at night) but it is working - just. Yesterday was actually a personal best. I went over 20,000 steps for the first time since this started. That was a combination of walking between offices and to pick up a parcel at lunchtime, which gave me my 10k, and then walking down to Byres Road to meet a friend for coffee. On the way home I realised I was on to break 18k, and then that if I took a long way round I'd get above 20, so I did. It meant I got home after 11, and I have a feeling that the warm weather, sunset being around 10, and my not having had any alcohol all contributed.

There's no walking time scheduled today, though, so I need to break that logistics problem all over again. And I'm not going to do it at this desk...
Inigo

Let me explain. No, there is too much - let me sum up.

It's been a busy old week...

On Wednesday the lovely jen_c_w appeared in Glasgow on one of her flying visits. We headed out to The Ubiquitous Chip - I can't believe I hadn't taken her before. Being a school night there was only one bottle of wine shared, but the food was lovely and the company was better. Haste ye back.

I finally got away to the cottage this weekend, in time for a heatwave. I was out on my bike for about six hours on Saturday. My old hard-tail mountain bike, not the beautiful road bike. I'd almost forgotten how much fun off-roading can be. And how bloody scary.  I headed over to Kilberry on Sunday, and had an excellent lunch, and then back down the road while the sun was still shining. It's weekends like that which remind me that being single by choice is not such a bad choice, at that.

Yesterday was a pretty stressful work day, and this week is going to ramp that up a little, but there's also lots to look forward to. A seasonal dialogue on Thursday for one thing, and a potential dinner date on Friday.

I also went out for a walk tonight, partly to celebrate another clothing milestone. One of the comedy moments you get from being dyslexic is when you go out to buy a 34 inch waist, 32 inch leg pair of 501s, and come back with a 32 waist, 34 inch leg pair. That was a year or so ago, and I never got around to returning them, which was silly, because I haven't been a 32 in those jeans for at least 20 years. There was a point when I thought I was going to have to give up 501s since they didn't seem to make them in 40 inch waist size.

Tonight I pulled out that pair while looking for something else and, just for the hell of it, tried them on. I'm not going to say that I didn't spend a few moments lying on the bed hauling on the buttons, but the point is I actually got the damned things closed, and went out tonight wearing them. A 20 year milestone.

I've been trying to figure out why they fit. I'm still doing the 5/2 diet, though not strictly, and today was a fasting day. More than that, though, it was my 20th straight day of walking more than 10,000 steps (except for two days I took off when I was ill). I think this is doing more good than I thought. A lot of people have said I'm looking better. I might have to start believing them. 
Dancing Ganesha

There's no such thing as bad weather....

...but this weekend isn't playing ball at all.

I did go to the Mela yesterday afternoon, and around 1 it started raining and just never stopped. Horrible, cold, torrential stuff. I managed my steps anyway (almost £18k) and had the pleasure of listening to a pipe band (The Red Hot Chilli Piper's) play Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" on stage at an indian festival in Glasgow. In the rain. And, to paraphrase Thomas Hardy, no one present found anything extra-ordinary about this at all.

Last night I went to a concert by the Scottish Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra. It was in the very beautiful St Mary's cathedral, which is a hop-skip and a jump from the flat, and the players were talented and hard working. It didn't really move me (there was something missing. A piano maybe. And some wood-wind. A brass player or two).

I've been out for breakfast this morning (an impulse trip over to Cafe Rio - and damn me for missing their Tom Waits night on Friday) and people are setting up for this afternoon's West End Festival parade already. I'll wander off for that, I think, but the skies are already clouding over and I can see some spits of rain on the window, so I'd better change out of my shorts first, I think.

Also, the Dixie Chicks aren't really doing it for me right now - time for something a bit more git up and go, pardner. 
  • Current Location: The Sofa, briefly
  • Current Mood: Itchy Feet
  • Current Music: "Light Enough To Travel" , The Be Good Tanyas
Dancing Ganesha

No Lurgy In The 'Verse Can Stop Me

The cold refuses to shift, which doesn't mean I can't.

I had a very pleasant Thursday night, having dinner with two of the smartest women I know, talking mostly about the theatre. Or rather they spoke about it and I listened. As you probably know, it's my aim to be the dumbest person in the room, and that night I felt like it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The food was good too.

Last night was too warm and sunny to stay in, so I wandered down to Ashton Lane, making up for the (spectacularly good) burger I had at Ketchup with almost 13k steps for the day. Then I was delighted to find out that the, ah, unnoficial, copies of Arrow Season 2 I was sent by a friend play perfectly on my PS3. Yes, I know, illegal downloads are against my principles ("Gentlemen, these are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.") but I will buy the set in September when it's released. Plus, Summer Glau. Glua. Glue. You know who I mean.

My sleep app was happy to tell me that my sleep quality was 98% last night, and I was out by around 10 to pick up some West End Festival atmosphere. Much the same as usual, really, except with more sunshine. I managed to fit in coffee in Byres Road, a wander round the Uni, and a visit to the Mela before the rain came on, and sent me home (via Mellis' for some cheese) and now I have my feet up listening to Edwyn Collins' new album (beautiful, brilliant, brave).

In a few minutes I'll change into something more weather appropriate, and head down to St Mary's Cathedral to try to pick up tickets for a concert there tonight, and then a cheeky pre-theatre (oh, ok, pre-gig) at Stravaigan.

Tomorrow will be the festival parade, a visit from my brother and nieces, and maybe a trip over to wish my mum a belated happy birthday. I'd planned to be at the cottage this weekend, but there's just too much going on in Glasgow. Maybe next weekend...
  • Current Music: Edwyn Collins, In The Now.