Friday, January 09, 2009


Starting with the weather, as usual...

It's been the coldest week I can remember in the UK. That's not saying much because I've only been here two and a bit years and I can't remember how cold it was in my childhood. Actually it's colder than I can remember it ever being in Belgium, although I was usually never there in January.

On a couple of nights, it got down to -4 in Bath and a lot colder than that out of town. Given that we had a bit of sleet and fog, I decided it was too risky to ride in the mornings - even on the bike path - and restricted myself to just a couple of lunchtime rides. These were actually quite good.

I should really do something about getting the heating fixed. The oven will only heat the front room, which is not ideal. I thought it was gunna be fixed over the Xmas break but apparently not. Oh well, that's what base layers are for innit.

So not an ideal start to the year but it's getting warmer and wetter this weekend. Hurrah!

Work's been busy, but we've had a solid start to the year. Bikes tend to do well in recessions, so I'm in the right game. Of course, Future ain't just about bikes.

I finished In Defence of Food and am rapidly running out of Xmas books. It's an OK read and as I wrote in the previous lot of bilge, I agree with its premise: eat real food.

That means growing things like veggies yourself or getting them from farmers markets or even the organic section at the supermarche. It means cooking it from first principles, not microwaving it from a fourth derivative using the chain rule. It means eating omnivorously and not worrying about what individual nutrients do. It means eating stuff that actually tastes good, so you don't overeat (avoid diet products). It also means taking an appreciative attitude towards food that goes beyond it being just 'healthy' or even 'fuel'.

If you're an athlete, you can't ignore the fuel aspect so you have to factor in getting enough calories, especially carbohydrates. That's where the luxury items come in.

It's funny that nutritionists have managed to break down food into very small parts but haven't been able to put them back together again without losing something. That's the beauty of complexity (cue The Blind Watchmaker reference).

It's also one of the reasons why I gave up science: I just didn't see the point of what I was doing. The chemical problems I delved into were solved by engineers using a very basic 'let's try this' approach. I could show what happened on a more micro scale but it wasn't going to change anything.


Hugh Jones said...

The best solution is a diet of bread and water as used successfully by many an Australian convict on the island of Pinchgut in Syney Harbour.
No stupid additives and tastes really good after 2 weeks with nothing else.

hugh jones said...

Or even Ambrosia and Nectar