Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The here and now

It's that time of year. January, in fact. When the cold gets to one's brain unless one is in the sunny Antipodes. Which one is not. Curse.

Since returning to the Empire, I have been reacquainting myself with the measurement system used here. It's mostly metric, but miles, feet, yards, inches, pounds, stone, fluid ounces, pints (lots of them) are all commonly used. Temperature seems to be Celsius, but to avoid confusion I'm going to adopt the Réaumur scale. I like it. It's simple, it relates to real life measurements (fingers, toes, number of bacteria) and was named after a French scientist.

For example, today it was 3.2°Ré, which in real world terms converts to 'fairly bloody cold'. Now in Celsius that would have been 4°C, which is far less intuitive, non? I could always use Rankine, but that's a bit old fashioned.

Riding at the moment means that one not only gets cold, one gets wet as well. Into the bargain, so to speak. It's a supercool me two for the price of one real raw deal meal. Fortunately it's heating up, as you can see from the BBC's forecast over the next half a day or so:

Weather forecast for Bath. Balmy, innit? Better not overdress.

After missing a couple of weeks training in Oz due to a certain lurgy, I'm struggling with the twin burdens of regaining what little fitness I had at the time as well as coping with the cold, which slows one down anyway. This morning, for example, I was 15 minutes slower than my best time over one of my usual 45km training loops, for roughly the same pace. I know it will all come back over the next few months, but it's still soul destroying.

I wasn't the only one who got sick over Xmas. Pretty much everyone in the office did, and even now I'm working in the middle of four sick boys. I hope my immune system has worked out how to stop another dose of the dreaded lurgy. The spon cure, perhaps.

I've been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of more Bath types, without visiting the Pump Room. They're part of a Bath Publishing Front and seem to enjoy pints and the occasional strudel. This, I strongly approve of. Three of us visited the only strudel house in Bath, a ye olde Swisse-German underground place not far from the Royal Crescent. Talk about when worlds collide. But we didn't talk about it. Strudel: v. good. Vanilla dusted cappuccino: not sure about that one...

Starbucks have opened another shoppe in Bath. That's three, including our canteen. They must be stopped. We will frequent Oxalis on a regular basis this year, I foresee.

Speaking of Starbucks (well, I was), I've been following the US election with an almost keen interest. I wonder if it will be anything like the '72 election that Hunter S. Thompson wrote so fondly about? Anyway, at least I now have an inkling of an understanding of how the whole circus works.


A university controlled study has shown that repeatedly watching this clip ( followed by the rather dark Sin City, which was on late on BBC2 on Sunday, results in particularly gruesome dreams. I could have watched the first of the new series of Foyle's War, which is excellent (ma and pa, rejoice!), but I didn't.

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