Saturday, January 19, 2013

Diary: gym + fasting + cricket + 'Dune'

No snow overnight, but no thaw either - I called the sports centre at 9.15 not knowing whether they'd be open or not.

10.15: Just a couple of other folk in the fitness suite: both in their sixties. The woman asked the man to change from the (default) music video channel to the cookery programme; he then left and by arrangement I lowered the volume from 100 to 45 and returned to my resistance machine less deafened.

Yesterday was a fasting day and I don't normally go to the gym the subsequent day (the snow!). The results were apparent: I was definitely low on energy, abandoning the rowing machine half way through about an hour in. Glycogen stores depleted.

PM: England were slowly destroyed by India at the cricket ODI over there. Really it was Clare who grieved in front of the Sky coverage; I was distracted by the greater number of birds in Somerset alighting in our front garden and reducing levels in the feeders at a rate comparable to bath water emptying down the plug hole. Later in the afternoon, I was once again out in my cold weather gear, replacing fat-blocks, insect pellets and sunflower heart seeds.

Watching the news, I was reminded of the legendary science-fiction novel 'Dune'. The desert warriors and their families - the Fremen - were often captured by the Empire to be held as hostages for future good behaviour: it never worked. An Imperial officer tells our hero, 'Anyone we capture they simply count as dead and hold the appropriate funeral rites.'

I believe the Algerian military take a similar view to the Fremen and given the nature of their adversary, they might be right. There's going to be a lot of naive, liberal hand-wringing, but it's best ignored.