Saturday, 19 March 2016


The BULLSHIT JOB that I'm doing at the moment can be done at home. So I do it at home, working odd hours and finding time to do less bullshit things between the various bullshit tasks involved. Hence going to the gym at 10.00 in the morning to be put through my paces by a muscular, cheerful dude who calls me buddy and scores higher for emotional intelligence and bedside manner (well, the personal trainer equivalent thereof) than pretty much any other person I can think of. Smashing off my visceral fat. Buying me a few more years, maybe. Getting the old body to the point where no it no longer feels like I'm dragging around an awkwardly proportioned sack of shit. That is actual progress. There's a spring in my step and my lower back doesn't grumble any more, even after a night spent on a blow-up bed when guest bedrooming somewhere. I have actual fucking biceps, fer chrissakes. Not noticeably large. But there. Really there.

Anyway, after an hour of strong mind, buddy and get your foot higher for me, buddy, I was nauseous and fully wiped out. Had to sit, bewildered, on a PLYO SOFT BOX for what seemed like ages before I could make it out of the sweaty kit and into the shower. Then the shower went on an on and on. Wasteful. Superb. So I get out of there and it's an awkward time. I can't brunch because I breakfasted. I can't lunch because it's not yet midday. Twenty-plus minutes shy of noon, in fact. What to do? Ours is not a town where there's much to do on a grey day bedevilled by insistent, pissy drizzle. So I went into Waterstones because I can always stand to look at books. Even in a weirdly deficient branch of Waterstones - massive children's dept., acres of business books and a dismally small fiction section that's mostly airport stuff. But my eye was drawn to a tray full of books marked all the way down to ONE POUND. 99.9% dross, of course. But then I saw a neat little volume containing profiles of 12 Russians who don't like Putin. I'll have some of that, I decided. I've lost count of the genuinely interesting things I've picked up in those places that only sell remaindered books. It was in one of those places that I got turned on to Ismail Kadare, fer chrissakes. So my mind is always open to the possibility of being led somewhere stimulating by a bargain pick-up. Let's see. Perhaps it'll make it into the suitcase as holiday reading for the impending trip to the USA. So I went off to get my chicken burger with a hopeful smile, my freshly battered flesh notwithstanding. I got them to hold the mayo and the sickly-sweet onion relish, replacing these with jalapeños. I like a slight frosting of sweat on the brow when eating chicken. Then back to the BULLSHIT JOB.

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