A week late again – this middle age thing is as rubbish as they say it is, I just can’t keep up with the youngsters…
It’s been mad busy the past 14 days, and the time machine has been on overdrive. I have managed to reverse the Weight Train, though, and catch up to where I should be, but it’s been tough, and not helped by a few cheeky nights out that always seem to end in carnage.
Thankfully, I’ve been quite disciplined food-wise, and most of last week was spent, as promised, eating only fruit and yoghurt. My mother was horrified when I told her this. “That’s NOT good for you!” she cried, “It isn’t balanced!” She’s right, it’s not balanced, but neither were the toasted cheese sandwiches and ten gallons of wine I managed to guzzle while I was at hers the other week.
The point, if there is one, is that I now know what ‘works’ for me, if I go off track. The overindulgences of a Sunday dinner, for instance, can be clawed back by cutting down just 50 or so calories per day, for the rest of the week. That’s the same as not having the banana as a snack, or halving the noodles in the stir fry. But if I have a big blow out on a night out, the only way for me to really get over it, is to detox completely, which often means nothing to eat the next day (mainly because I’d be sick if I did…), and water, water, water. The fruit-only thing is a version of that. As long as it’s a temporary measure, eating just fruit for a couple of days seems to unblock everything that’s making me feel rubbish, gives me energy, and I honestly don’t feel hungry during the day. It’s not something I can prolong, but as a means to ‘mending’ my body after a weekend on the ale, it has a pretty big impact. I also notice that fresh fruit improves my skin and gets the arl’ waterworks functioning as they should. Dehydration and the other nasty things associated with hangovers, can take a while for your body to rectify, and it’s not just a case of guzzling water, it’s about replacing lost vitamin C and potassium, too. Of course, a bucket of painkillers can also help, but generally, I’m leaning more and more towards the Fruit Is Ace camp, even if it means I have to brush my teeth ten times a day (fructose is worse for your teeth than the refined sugar you find in sweets and chocolate….).
So, by the end of last week, I was back to feeling wonderful and light again, and 1.5lbs had dropped off – so back on schedule. Then I went out. The Gang all met in town about 5pm at The Post Office pub on School Lane in town. I’d been at a script meeting @ FACT in the morning, and by the time we were done, I found myself in that grey area, where it didn’t make sense to go home, only to come back out again an hour or so later – but what would I do in the meantime? I had my laptop, and other stuff with me, but could I really be arsed traipsing home just to dump that all and change a T shirt? Of course not, which is why I ended up killing time in other establishments, until the legitimate Ale O’Clock.
After a wonderful night, as usual, I got in around 1am, which was pretty decent, I thought. Obviously, Saturday was a bit of a car crash, but not as bad as it could have been. Most of the day was spent nibbling on apples and grapes and listening to radio footy, as well as catching up on my weekly TV obsessions so, in a way, I got a lot of done *cough*.
Sunday, I met The Olds in Ma Egerton’s for an afternoon tipple, and I impressed even me by only having three glasses of wine, then walking home (it’s not far, granted, but it’s uphill, so that’s pretty major). More fruit, fruit, fruit, and a nice early night, although my insomnia has returned. I’d stopped taking ‘aids’ to help me drop off, because although I’m a massive advocate of prescription drugs for stuff like pain relief, I don’t like soporifics, as a rule. I love the effect they have, sure, but I like to stay in control of how and when I lose consciousness…
Monday was a kind of naughty day, as I met our Californian friend, Bobby Fury, for a boozy lunch at The Pumphouse, before we went to join David Jaggs at The Fly In The Loaf, for more imbibition, finishing up at The Phil. Still, I was home for 6pm, and I refrained from even touching the vodka Kirsty had bought me a while ago. By the way, David’s band, The Ragamuffins, have just released their new EP, “Telling Tales”, which I have no problem shamelessly plugging, here…
Tuesday night was a real problem, sleep-wise, but I was expecting it. I had storylines to submit on Wednesday, but I’m not someone who can just sit down at a laptop and “come up with ideas”. I can’t write on demand and I certainly can’t think on demand. If I’m not in the zone, it just ain’t going to happen. That’s why most writers I know are freelance, because you never know when the lightning’s going to strike, and it doesn’t just ‘come’ between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, although I wish it did. My own method, for wont of a better word, is to just let my mind wander, almost inducing a trance. I play out scenes in my head, rewind them, replay them with a different outcome, and ‘see’ what works and what doesn’t. There are four ways of doing this that work for me: lying in the bath until the water goes cold; sitting on the bus; walking the streets with my tunes on (I can end up miles away from home and have no idea how I got there), or I’ll be trying to get to sleep and, just as I’m about to drop off, about six ideas will come into my head, that I know I’ll have to get up and write down before they disappear back into my subconscious. The latter is what happened Tuesday night, and by 4am I was so tired, literally, of having to lean across the bed and scribble things down in my jotter, I thought it was better to just get up and be done with it.
I got the submissions in on time, but it meant that all day Wednesday, I was a zombie, which has only really left today to finish the rest of the work I still had to do. This weekend is a busy one, as my friend Kirsty is up from Milton Keynes, tomorrow, for her birthday, and The Gang are going to the Royal Court to see Scot Williams‘ new play, HOPE, tomorrow night. There’s been a buzz about this production for some time now, and early reviews are excellent. If I’m not too hungover on Saturday (ha, who am I kidding…?), I’ll try and tell you what we thought. Always a good night at the Court, so if any Liverpudlians out there are stuck for something to do before the end of the month – get on this.
Things I’ve Learned This Fortnight
1. I hate cleaning
Not that I know anybody who likes it, but I’m hopeless at cleaning. Living on my own (I hear the new way to say this, without it sounding tragic, is to say “I live independently…”), I really only clean the place when someone’s coming to stay, or when I psychically sense my mother approaching, for a ‘spot check’. I really do loathe it, it just seems such a waste of time. I don’t have many possessions, though, to be fair, so the apartment always looks ‘minimalistic’, and rarely messy or cluttered. But it’s probably not very clean. When I do shift my arse, I’ll admit I feel a deep sense of accomplishment, and always make a promise to clean more often. But I never do. Because I then remember how much I hate it.
2. NatWest are still rubbish
An update from last time. I’d sent them a letter asking for clarification on a few things concerning my mortgage, but instead of answering my questions, they sent my letter to the complaints section. Since then, I’d received four different replies, all saying “Thank you for your letter of complaint…”, despite me pointing out, each time, that I hadn’t actually complained. Sigh. Anyway, they sent me another letter this week, which ran along the lines of “Further to your complaint-that-wasn’t-actually-a-complaint, we have forwarded this to our Customer Complaints section, who will investigate the complaint you never raised, and get back to you in due course. In the meantime, we’ve decided not to answer any of the questions you asked in your four previous attempts to ask questions.”
I hate them. I hate them so much, it causes me physical pain. They say it just takes one more straw to break the camel’s back, but I feel like a hamster who’s had a lorry dropped on it.
Things I’m Dreading Next Week
Not a lot. In fact next week should be pretty ace. Lots of work, then down to Kirsty’s to watch MK Dons v Tranmere, and a party in London on Saturday night. What’s not to like?
This Week I’ve Mostly Been Watching…
1. Sons of Anarchy
Bloody hell, I’ve been lobotomised and now think this is the best thing in the world. (Creator) Kurt Sutter obviously had a rocket fired up his bottom which made him crank things up a gear and finally, FINALLY, I can sit back and bask in the heady daze of another telly obsession. The surgeon bird still annoys me, a lot, but as long as “Tig” keeps doing his thing for the next million episodes, I’ll be a happy camper. He steals every scene, which Sutter obviously realised halfway through Season 1, when it wasn’t really clear who “Tig” was supposed to be. Now, he carries the whole show, and that’s fine by me. From struggling with the first few episodes of Season 1, I’ve motored through Seasons 2 and 3 faster than Alex Ferguson down a flight of stairs. You see, tenacity pays off…
I’m late to this, despite numerous cries of “get on it!” from friends. I just kept forgetting. But now I’m there, and it’s a keeper. I’m three episodes down, three to go, so it’s still a bit hard to know what to think about this bonkers conspiracy drama set around a bunch of comic geeks who stumble upon medical corruption and shady politicians (I know, I know, it’s real life already…). I was told to expect lots of gore, but I think I just have a stomach of steel, because not even eye-gouging or graphic stabbings to the throat, have that much of an effect on me. Very, very funny sex scene in the bunker between Becky and Ian, and the photography is just gorgeous. Sometimes, it’s like watching one giant Hockney painting move across the screen. Thank goodness “Jessica Hyde” turned up at the door at the end of Episode 1, though, because if Monotonous Psycho Arbie had said “Where’s Jessica Hyde?” in that dullard, painfully annoying drone of a voice, one more time, I’d have broken through the telly and shot him with his own gun…
3. Boardwalk Empire Season 3
Again, I’m late to this season because there aren’t enough telly hours in the day and, like the previous series, it’ll take me 10 episodes to figure out who everybody really is, there’s always so much going on. But Steve Buscemi is so watchable, and I’m a big Stephen Graham fan, even if he hasn’t been in it much, yet. Kelly McDonald’s terrible Irish accent continues to grate, but I’ll let that go, for now. Talking of accents, Sons of Anarchy Season 3 was set mostly in ‘Norn Iron’, but they still couldn’t be bothered to actually hire real Irish actors. Titus Welliver’s “Hollywood Oirish” accent was soooo bad, I couldn’t take him seriously as a proper psycho. I’ve noticed that American casting directors tend to think that Scottish/Welsh/Irish accents are one and the same, and all English people went to Eton and live in stately homes.
The Stats Bit:
Month 1: 8.75lbs
Month 2: 5.25lbs
Month 3: 1lb
Month 4: 0.5lbs
Month 5: 3lbs
Month 6: 1.5lbs
Week 25 – 0lbs
Week 26: 1.5lbs
Week 27 – 1.5lbs
Total after 189 days: 23lbs