Thursday, January 15, 2009


The good news (from the me-centric view of the world, naturally) is that the weather has improved out of sight since last week. Temperatures up to 10 degrees, a bit of rain but so much better than ice.

The bad news is that I have been sick with a cold since the start of the week, thus haven't been able to take advantage of this fortuitous state of affairs. So much for the healthy diet, although I think it's because I haven't been drinking enough beer.

It's not a "flat out on your back for a week" cold, neither is it a "get over it in a couple of days" cold. It's more a case of a runny nose with just enough tiredness to convince me to stay at home and off the bike. But it hasn't yet turned into a cough and I hope to keep it that way. Maybe a couple of gentle rides on the weekend, we'll see.

It's bloody annoying. From a training point of view, I was all fired up to reach September '08 fitness by April and was definitely ahead of where I was at this time last year. That may still happen, depending on how soon I can shake it, but it's not ideal. I suppose I was bloody lucky last year not to get sick at all, beyond the occasional sore throat. Payback time.

From a wasting my life point of view, it's also annoying. Of course you can't avoid being sick but it's nothing time. I can't do much work, can't go out, don't feel tired enough to sleep, don't feel inspired enough to do anything else (like get the heater fixed) and have a tendency to think about things too much. I do enough of that already.

Like where the economy is going. Or what is the economy exactly? And why is failure rewarded (or bailed out)? Surely that makes the problem worse? And why useless jobs (like the hundreds doing nothing at Beijing airport) are necessary to keep the world's population employed. And the problems they've got in the Middle East, you know. And the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow. And more things besides.

This is where something like The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and Barry McKenzie Holds His Own come in. Two very fine fillums, a bit on the crudish side occasionally but a fair dinkum portrayal of Australian culture overseas in the '60s and '70s, with plenty of elements still extant today.

Dost thou taketh the piss? Nay, verily I speaketh the truth.

Scene: chatting to an older Australian couple in a pub last year. Asking them about Bath:

"It's a bit of a dump. All the houses are the bloody same. They're a bit like Masterton Homes."

I kiddeth thou not. This is almost a verbatim quote and they were serious. Roll on the cultural revolution.

Postscript: QI is also very good.

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