Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Back Pages

Six months ago yesterday, Paul and I began to eat our way around the world in London. Half a year of reasonably regular effort later, we've scarcely begun to scratch the surface of what is available in this town. Although we have pegged the peripheral Spain, Greece, Sweden and Ireland for example we haven't had a single meal from the heart of Europe. I'm amazed at the scope that is available to us and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the project had another eighteen months left in it.

Tomorrow - by way of contrast - will be the first anniversary of my entering the hallowed portals of the gym, and I've been there five or so times a week ever since.

I've been vaguely uneasy for a while about the apparently contradictory - or even schizophrenic - implications of exercising, eating and boozing, and applying myself to each with equal energy and enthusiasm, but this weekend I had an epiphany.

On Saturday morning in Bradford On Avon when we topped up our hangovers with a vigorous, hilly cycle ride followed by a cholesterol laden fried breakfast and pints of 6X, I realised that we were at each stage relishing being alive, and that is a much better and more generous way to fill one's allotted span than the nannyish, parsimonious, mean spirited recommendations we get from the dispatch box, the editorial column and even the pulpit in this lily-livered age.
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